Nerfing Numbers: A Limit to the Power of the Blob?

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Good article, humans blame others first and themselves long after by nature.
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Came hoping for a serious discussion on the topic. Found recycling of all the old one-sided arguments asssociated with all big blocks in EVE. Left dissappointed. In short: nothing to see here.
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There is one logical argument for nerfing numbers, but on the organizational side, not the combat side. Essentially, it's not clear it's healthy for the game to have nullsec coalitions dominated by a few large alliances which control vast swathes of territory. To that end, encouraging more territorially compact alliances, perhaps by having the marginal cost of sovereignty increase exponentially and nerfing passive income like technetium, would allow more alliances into nullsec, and thus more opportunities for friction and conflict, Numbers would still confer a substantial advantage, and you would likely still see the game dominated by a few large coalitions (though they'd likely be a bit smaller than the current ones). But those coalitions would have more members with a smaller average size, which means they'll be harder to manage, and there'll be more power struggles within them. It might even encourage the truly giant alliances, like TEST and Goons, to split into smaller affiliated alliances, which again offers greater potential for schism and conflict.
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An enjoyable read James, keep up the good work both here and out in the ice fields.
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I have to admit it seems this whole article is about how goons and test are doing right and everyone else is doing it wrong. I admit the part about treating allies like crap is a good point, but the message "if you don't bring the numbers don't bother fighting because you will lose" is a little bit depressing. A interesting article in any case.
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Though generally I enjoy James_315's essays and manifestos, the earlier content from him on this site has been a bit tiresome: incessant wailing and gnashing of teeth about how CCP wants to ruin EVE and make highsec into Care-A-Lot, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.It's nice to see James_315 turn his mind away from endlessly harping on something the good majority of the readership here already knows all to well - that perfectly safe hisec is bad - and start churning out articles like this.MiyamotoIsoruku: I believe there's already an article about this elsewhere on the site - it did mention that nerfing Technetium would, if done right, lead to more territorially compact sov-holding and such. It's a good read.
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The article uses TEST and GSF as examples of how more numbers doesn't correlate to lower skill and in fact makes the argument for more numbers correlating with higher skill. The message isn't "Bring numbers or lose", it's "either have the skill to fight the odds and win or stop whining about getting outclassed."
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started good but i stoped reading at makalu double agent thing. I thought this wasn't EN24... Not even riverini posts prograganda that bad. If you actually did some research, just this year maka lead most -A- fleets to reconquer 4-5 south regions.Back to EN24
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In the end there is no game mechanics that can deny building blobs. Even when you limit the amount of standings or make a fee on blue standing people can still "blue up" with the overview aka "don't shoot the guys with [insertallianceticker]. Also blobs > shooting one IHUB for one day with 20 duders.
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Was hoping there would be something insightful here.All we got was a revisionist-history lesson, and someone sounding very butthurt about "superior goon FC's" welping thousands of drakes and claiming that a close outcome in a 500v200 battle means that both alliances are equally good at pvp.4/10 for effort
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I look at it this way. This is yet another way the playstyle of the game is evolving. The game becomes in some ways more like a real life political simulator than ever before. When you have the UN, NATO or a Warsaw Pact, you can not just declare war without considering the greater ramifications to your actions. While some would argue the game has always been this way (and in fact they would be right) it is now to a heightened level. It allows people who may not be so much into the heated PVP of it but who have amazing IRL Social Skills to greatly change the game. In this age of Coalitions an amazing diplomat (RIP Vile Rat) might mean the difference between your alliance dying or prospering, even more so than an amazing FC. For those interested in interacting with others on a social level, navigating the twisted political halls, this could almost be seen as a Golden Age.Of course, others may see this as a huge NAPfest. Personally, I am always fascinated by the personalities and minds behind the alliances, so this is truly a great time for me and I look forward to trying my hand at EVE wide diplomacy.And yes, in the interest of full disclosure I am a CFC pilot.
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Nice Read
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If you can only bring 200 men to a 500 man fight, then you are the bad ones at pvp. The 500 man side is better at playing against other players by the nature of their unity and cohesion. As the article points out and makes very clear, EVE goes beyond one man in one ship versus another man in another ship; pvp is in EVE is not a duel at the sun.Also, please expand on your claim of revisionist history. Where has history been misrepresented here?
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Reality has a notorious Goon bias.
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And the other side would be what, BoB, -A-? Those systems of operation are failures and have been proven time and time again to hold no water and no longevity. If this is a Goon/TEST slanted article it is because history has proven the effectiveness of the CFC/HBC coalition structure - this article addresses its reasons and its successes. But please, if you have other opinions, write an article yourself and contribute to the discussion.
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"I stopped reading at this point, so here is my comment on an article I didn't read." I think EN24 is where you belong.
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Not much meat on this article despite it's length. All that historical masturbation was tiring to read. Not one mention of the anti-blob weapon(bombs) and whether they are too easy or too hard to use, but mentions the idea of a focus fire stacking penalty(...wat).
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So after reading as much of the article that i could, I'm afraid it's to long for my short attention span, what i got from it, and i'm sorry for doing this, "blobs are fine, the bigger the blob the better the skills, you suck at not being bigger and better" and "CFC wont ever own all of null sec thats too obviuos, we will just regulate all the isk, thats better"
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@Tommy, I agree that the the CFC/HBC way of doing things are much more effective than what -A- or BoB has accomplished, but i have to also state that if everyone plays the same way there wont be any conflict in eve, and judging from the numbers in the CFC/HBC this is exactly whats happening. Toting CFC/HBC as better where eceryone loves each other has never been the "EvE way" eventually the CFC/HBC way of playing will reach critical mass, the only difference between then and history is the number of pilots currently playing the "right" way.Pretty soon we will have "gud fights" but only when both sides has been told that the fight will happen on gate x in system y, please bring z because we will have q "yeah man gud fights" and dont worry OTEC says we wont touch you income, that way we can do this all again tomorrow "woot"
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Cause propoganda is the truth ?
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In EvE more players = more damage and since your not fighting the ones that are good at countering that, as indicated in the article PL is very good at this, your just saying, we blued the only people that can counter us, we have won EvE
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Because themittanidotcom only wants your view if it is aligned to what is expected.
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We already have pre-arranged and scheduled fights with fleet doctrines and numbers agreed upon by both parties. They are often very enjoyable for both sides. You also assume that there will come some glorious period of permanent-blueness where no-one fights and everyone is friendly. This article - and history - shows that this will never, ever be the case. Some people are ideologically opposed to the CFC/HBC/SoCo/DOTBROS way of doing things and will never join. Most people just want to have others to shoot, so were a glorious blue period to descend, it would last approximately thirty seconds before the first blue on blue warfare breaks out. You can't stagnate warfare in EVE, but you can certainly grease the machinery of war, and that's what these coalitions do.
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That is absolutely wrong and I would ask you to back up your comment with evidence. All articles from any contributing force are accepted and published. You have a selective memory if you ignore the huge amount of non CFC/HBC affiliated writers on this site.
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Rooks and Kings.
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"I haven't read all the article, but here are my comments." This is not the way to contribute to the discussion.
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I don't think you understand what propaganda is.
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If it weren't for being hidden behind the wall of text that idiots won't bother reading (or digesting), I'd be concerned that you were giving away the secret to success in EVE.Nice read.
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The other side would be to have a real unbiased discussion about game mechanics that would allow different playstyles to prevail under certain circumstances. I know - its to much to hope for, especially when it comes from james_315
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ok I correct my first statement by replacing themittanidotcom with Tommy and avid defender of articles release on tehmittanicorcom
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are you saying that i would come to a different conclusion if i had read the full article ?
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Given your apparent literacy level, probably not.
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Very good article but i disagree with your statement that goons /test are both better on an individual pilot basis and numbers wise(winning numerically but also better than)Goons are one of the best organised alliances in game, They have good fc's etc and goons vs any other alliance goons would probably win, but individual piloting skill has never been proven, tbh ive not seen goons win a fight with equal numbers, they have at some point yes.I think you should give them the credit they deserve but not make claims that are unproven, leave that to othersAlso dont get me wrong you probably have hundreds if not a few thousand capable pilots, but 60-70% of the alliance will more than likely be F1 pressing zombies.
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People who complain about losing tend to avoid bringing up useful tools which are already available to them (and they didn't use) to help them not lose.
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Are you ~slow~ ? Or is it just math that eludes you?10,000 man blob can easily field 500 dudes, 3500 man coalition, not so much...Don't forget there are such things as TimeZones and Sleep, NullBears and Oh yeah, let's not forget, RL!This article would be a good read if it wasn't rife with propagandist delusions.Let's all agree for a second that -A- IS shit. As a S2N pilot, no argument there. However, writing an insanely long wall of text to try and justify losing massive amounts of fleets to your pilots and telling them basically "It's ok, you and our FCs are just as good at PvP as they are despite the 192-27 loss you just took up the a.. and despite having 2.5x the numbers..." is pretty damn transparent.Your pilots are tired of getting kicked around 0.0 and grinding Tribute in a very un-fun manner. Having to re-take a system 3-4 times while losing your ship 3 times for the SAME objective is getting tiresome so you need to lift morale. Period.And it's not only the fact that you force the 10,000 to get bitchslapped on a daily basis while justifying it that is sad; it's the fact that you get players bitchslapped and burned out on a daily basis, having no fun at the game - because they are easily replaceable by other 10m SP players - all for the agenda of a very small group of people within Goons.So, tl;dr: nice rah-rah speech but no one but Goons buys it...
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un nerf blap titans
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For those 'old enough' the BoB thing against Goon's blolb was that it turned the fleet battles into a random lag/black screen issue. When there were 1k goons in rifter warping into a brawl, the point for them was not bring enough number to do whaterver you wanted, but simply to crash a node or put lag to such extent that one should feel lucky to actually lock (not talking about shoot) something. And the crap about 'goons were superior', omagad... I know winners are allowed to re-write history, but come on...
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becasue 208 Rooks and Kings members will be effective as a counter to the the numbers the HBC and CFC currently has, where as 1326 PL members would stand a much better chance so lets blue them.
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Player run organisations these days tend to have out-of-game tools to hold the player community together. Take Goonfleet reforming as LODRA (after the sov bills incident), then reforming as GSF. It's largely the same player group.The only thing any mechanic incentivising alliances to stay smaller would do is encourage the player communities to change in-game organisational structure (ie metagame it).
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How about we keep discussing the article instead of your opinion about me?
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blah, blah, blah, blah, an ex goon can be as good for propaganda as a current goon. The fact is that, eve is not RL, it's a game, so don't compare NATO or any other RL association with the game. Why? because RL countries don't have technetium nor have a life replacement program, and also any country in any alliance has a limited resource of money, they don't just print money. I agree with not nerfing the blobs, just make them so hard on the pocket while not having a money printer at home.
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I see small gangs (5-10) of Goons winning fights on a regular basis. That's strategically significant fights too, not just roaming gangs. They just don't hit the headlines nearly as much as the big fights.
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"they don't just print money" ummm, actually, they do.
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Based on econimic variances yes, and over printing monies with no resources to base that upon has no benefit to the economy of that country.I read it it as no country being able to create more wealth than the resources available to them as those resources deminish. But then maybe its just me.
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While countries don't have tech, they do have natural ressources, industry or other ways to produce money to fund war. Afaik Goonswarm has a limited resource of money, their income might be huge right now, but it's not infinite. A real nation can just print money on the other hand. It will lower the value of their currency and/or increase their debt, but they can still "print" money as you say. Please look at the facts if you're going to come out with the RL comparison card, which I don't remember being used in the article.
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No in-game organisation can create more wealth than the "resources" available to them either. The only truth in the OP was the lack of a "life replacement program".Parallels can be drawn to real life principles, even in a game (especially in a game that is a player driven as EVE).
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Please look at the facts you say"Afaik Goonswarm has a limited resource of money, their income might be huge right now, but it's not infinite"Do you want to indicated to me how OTEC is a diminishing resource taking into consideration all members of OTEC will help defend the income from the moon goo, to the point that CCP has stepped in to provide a different method of producing what has been monopolized by an player agreement where only few benefit, sounds a little elitist and infinite to me ?
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Your "diminishing resource" argument is a strawman. Miguel only referred to a "limited" resource. Technetium, even uncontested, will only bring in a finite amount of revenue in a given time.Doesn't sound the slightest bit infinite to me, and how is it elitist when it is shared around all members of the coalition or agreement?
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I believe the concept of printing money refers to making money with a small investment and a massive payout and ensure it's longevity by making the service indispensable so that the money printing continues - in EvE i would call that OTEC, am i wrong ?
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In small gang warfare (15 members or less), pilot skill has more of an impact. In these small gangs, you statement quickly falls apart. CFC has some very good small gang pvp'ers. You cannot observe that in large fleets, as pilot skill spans from "very skilled" to "this is my first fleet ever, what's a broadcast?".The thing that people fail to see (or fail to acknowledge) is that the CFC alliances aren't pvp alliances. They are null sec alliances. They have miners and builders and carebears and PVP'ers. To some of these people, PVP is a small part of their game. They show up for the big fights, want an FC to tell them where to go, when to warp, what to shoot. For a "PVP'er", the PVP is their focus. To a PVP alliance, their members are focused on the PVP. In a null sec alliance, these PVP'ers can be found doing what they love, PVP. In between major ops, you'll see the PVP'ers out there, looking for a fight and generally kicking ass.What your observing as wide diversity, you are stereotyping as bad-at-PVP.
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Yes.
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You know what lifts morale when "Having to re-take a system 3-4 times"? Getting to shoot people over and over. And "losing your ship 3 times for the SAME objective"? ISK reimbursement.I think you underestimate how much people in the CFC like shooting things. Hell, the other day we had a "shoot blues" memorial service (RIP Vile Rat).
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Thanks for contributing to the conversation, i must be talking to a senior member of themittanidotcom, even at evenews24dotcom i would have gotten an explanation (with a certain mesuare of "omg your a noob") but here we have just the facts and nothing more.Your comment is lacking something, it might be a reason for your answer.
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It sure was. That something was the will to explain basic concepts. You asked a simple question, so I gave a simple answer.To elaborate: http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=print...
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Actually your wrong that same resource can differ in value based on the availability of the resource which is coverned by the members of the agreement or coalition. Thus you have a non diminishing income that does not have a limited resource of money.
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I'm an avid defender of reality. There have been many articles published here that my own thoughts and experiences diverge from, but that does not preclude me appreciating, considering and constructing reasoned rebuttals, none of which I see in your arguments. You provide no evidence and yet make wild claims despite admitting to not having read the entire article. One wonders just what exactly it is you are doing.
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So what your saying is i'm stupid and your clever because you already know how to google ?Please say Yes only on Yes if you agree. Prove to me that you dont see yourself as being elitist and better than the rest of the poeple that plays EvE after all thats the GoonSwarm way.
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Then feel free to start it. Throw together some thoughts, run them through a spellchecker and submit them for publishing. Not only will your thoughts get a wide audience, but you'll also get paid! Reason out your arguments, back them up with evidence and explain them clearly and concisely. There are people on here just itching to discuss this stuff, but when all we get is "this is more Goon propaganda", we can't exactly have a reasoned discussion, can we?
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I do not know you, I only respond to your comments. You provide no explanations nor evidence for your claims of propaganda nor bias. I don't know how it is possible to have a discussion when you refuse to actually propose an alternative view and give it the weight of justification.
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I am in fact commenting on your reply to the original comment Tommy your dismisal of the original comment because the user decided to stop reading the article and did not read all of it and disect it and start a reasearch project to gather evidence and construct reasonable rebutils. Your asking me to make this comment area into a resources of intelectual discussion between playes of a space ship game where meme's, taunting, being deviuos and not trusting anyone is not only encouraged but advocated as the only way to play. This is why you can tell anyone here where they belong. Thus we loop back to the start. I think your being a jerk, your think i have noting to contribute (thus a jerk). Where does that leave us ?
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Although maybe a bit smug the author has shown he can analyse this sandbox. There is much truth in these words, hate to admit it, since I too am one of those not so keen on fighting drakeblobs.But I know I am far too lazy to organize something to stand up against that, and I guess that goes for a lot of us. I get exhausted trying to imagine the hard work it must take to build such a power.It will be interesting to see if a coalition will ever rise that has the same cohesion as we currently see in Goons or Test but without the external community to back them up.And if such an entity were to rise, I can imagine many attempts at sabotage, humiliation or downright annihilation by the current coalitions, so the rising coalition would have to appear non-threatening until they can stand up to the powers that be...I'm getting popcorn, please keep the stories coming!
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wow , did you even read this?
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Miguel Mendes, I in fact, am trying to get "away" from everyone trying to use RL facts into the game, not the other way around. Your assumption is bogus when you say a nation can just print money. Only a few countries have a money printing machine, and they print this based on their passive resources, aka gold reserves and maybe a few other minor factors. My facts are correct when i state that, the OTEC, mainly goons, have a hefty amount of income coming to them "in a passive way" i highlight that because there is nothing really passive. But manipulating the prices to an overinflated state, is to me a broken mechanic. Also the other term that I'm stating is that, this income is infinite for as long as moons keep producing goo, may have a finite amount of this per month, but unlike RL oil and the sorts which tend to diminish and in a period of time, evaporate. moon goo is unlimited. It will continue producing unless CCP does something about it. Therefore the one that has to get his facts corrected is you, and see the whole picture, not just the propaganda square. habla ahora oh caya para siempre.
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And I think you overestimate the whole "all of eve is poor except CFC/HBC and no one but us have Ship Replacement Programs"... We get to "Kill your ships 3 times for the SAME objective" while still enjoying SRP on the odd chance you actually kill one of us.
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I can honstly tell you that i am only resonding to your comments as well, if the orignal comment was baseless and had an alternative view but no weight behind it why did you see the need to reply in the manner that you did, are you saying that Goons are real and that would be the extent of your justification ? Lets face it, not all your comments carry the same consideration as what your expecting from me or the other people that comment in this area.
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I just don't understand how you all seem to think 2 'coalitions' (and lets be honest, it's one big blue circle jerk really) controlling all of non-npc null is a good thing (as thats the way its going).
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Although I'm very vocal against the obvious propaganda in articles such as these, Tommy is right. I have yet to see a non-goon published article or comment getting nuked apart from retarded crap like the stuff that was posted in the comments on VR's memorial article by a few obviously juvenile trolls.
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Thank god for Dog-Battle report to fuck the "innacurate" killboards and there can be no more bitching!
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He's not saying it's a good thing; he merely points out that any attempt to 'control all of nullsec' is doomed to failure because anyone who suceeds in doing this is forced to turn against it's own allies if it ever wants to grow.
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So where is the article on your lost Nyx from a few hours ago? As each week passes this site becomes more like the other one - just a different wrapper
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Generally the cfc pilots aren't all that great at pvp on an individual level - which makes sense really since the cfc is a broad coalition that recruits all types of pilots, including a lot of casual players. They have some good small gang players but then again every alliance does.Whenever I do a small gang I feel confident taking on greater greater numbers if it's cfc compared to alliances like nulli or ncdot. If it's a much scarier outfit like Darkside I'd barely feel capable of taking on even numbers.Goons' strength is their diplomacy and identity, which are the things you really need in order to do sov warfare really successfully. And good for them. They are playing the sov game the best and deserve to win. But Horak is right in saying that the majority of their pilots do just join a big fleet, hit F1 and then go back to forsaken hubs once it's all over.
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Please link a fight where Goons brought 500 pilots to a 500 vs 200 fight? Yeah didn't think so, but I'm sure you can find plenty where Goons + 10 or 12 other alliances have done just that. 10,000 men alliances are fine, Coalitions numbering into the multiple 10's of thousands are not.
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James 315, Saviour of MY HEART <3
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One one the most interresting article I'v read. Also thank you for explaining Goon vs Bob conflict wich newer player haven't heard a lot about..
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Articles write and edit themselves c/d
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I so live to please you with my immaculate literacy, your such a pillar of the community, will you be my mentor ?I see your personal attack and raise you sarcasm.
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The idea that taking and then holding (the important part!) technetium moons is "a small investment" is laughable.
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Y'know the funny thing was that more often than not the lag would favor BoB. They would be setup on a gate that we had to go through to reach a target, we'd blackscreen jumping in, it'd be a shooting gallery for them.But I'm sure that's just ebil goonie propaganda to you.
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Fortunately, "have a strong out of game identity, treat your pilots well, and treat allies as equals regardless of their military strength" is harder to actually execute than it is to say. ;)
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This is far from explaining nor even starting to tell anything about the BoB vs Goon conflict...As a newbie, you can't imagine what sov warfare was then... nor that the only way for goon to win something was to blob the syst for node crash and/or intense lag (a lot of us will remember what it was to wait for an hour in front of a black screen, to just reappear in station). Not to talk how 'victory' was reach : a meta-game trick if you're goon, a single ceo ruining everything if you were BoB...
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Yes it is just evil propaganda ;) We suffer the same issues on both sides I guess...
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I think I might not have been clear about the part where i mention OTEC and the ability of that agreement to produce masive amounts of ISK.
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I don't there is a problem with "blobbing" per se. I think the BIGGEST problem with the whole combat system is the ability to "re-ship" so fast after being destroyed and podded. IMHO there should be more delay when your clone is activated after being podded vs making it back in your pod to re-ship. The blob isn't the biggest problem, it's the never ending stream of replacements (people previously killed) with virtually no down time that is the issue.
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This was the most one sided history lesson i have ever read. You want to talk about history? What happen in WWII, when allies let Hitler get strong and build up a great force, instead of taking him down when he was still small. What i don't seem to understand is why would GSF allow TEST/PL to grow bigger than they are? Well GSF downfall, PL went at your tech once they couldn't keep it because they didn't have the numbers, now with a TEST led by PL they have all the numbers they need to take what they want and succeed. Those of you thinking there blue that wont happen......really cause the GSF is so different right? When there is so many GSF members who see this aswell. Well i will enjoy the gf to come.
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Awesome article
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How about the fact that tidi fights are not fun, and that most people would rather not even play the game then to engage in tidi fights night after night.
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PL went at our tech alongside dotbros & others, not alone, fyi.
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Perhaps. On the other hand, being able to reship so fast speaks to an availability of ships to fly, which links into the different sort of skill - logistics & organization - that james315 was talking about.
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I agree with most all of the analysis. I think were people get the impression, that goons and other alliances are generally "Less-skilled" is because pvp to them is a roaming style fight, where each fleet member is in full control of their ship, and engage other pilots and ships, not fleets. A lot of fleets are seen a "Lock Target hit F1" style machines.The Sov Mechanics don't help much. Eve is evolving, change does not always appeal to everyone, but it happens. However I do believe that there should be some aspects where "fighting skill" should trump numbers, maybe not sov warfare, but maybe wormholes come to mind. Its human nature to not accept responsibility for ones faults, even more so for groups with larger egos.What do you say for the casual solo or small gang pvp-ers that happen to run into blobs in nullsec and lowsec?
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The article cites specifically the Dunning Kruger effect. That is -A- in a nutshell mass Dunning Kruger effect.
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So these numbers and "facts" pulled out of his ass with wild statements like "grinding tribute in a very un-fun manner" get 13 upvotes?themittani.com needs some reddiquette up in here.
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For the Blob; I can see being annoyed that just a group of massed players with no strategy but "Shoot target 1, switch to 2 when 1 blows up" would wipe the floor with smaller groups; what I would consider a 'blob'. But a very large, cohesive and organized super-fleet is totally legitimate and not something I'd cry a single tear to loosing to. I also wouldn't call it a blob.Blaming everyone else for one's own failures is very common, though, and I'm not socked that alliances fall hard because of it.
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Confirming goons have never "outclassed" anyone at anything. ever. in all time. The whole reason you guys blob is because it is the only way you win. Which is fine. I'm in Nc. and I don't think that the blob needs to be nerfed at all. The biggest thing I'd say to do is not let blues go through jb's, which would in theory make the blob move a lot slower, but overall the "blob" doesn't need to get nerfed. If you have them, bring them, all the more for me to shoot at. Yes people bitch way to much about the blob, but in turn don't start chest beating about "outclassing" people when you need 500 guys to get shit done. GG.
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Yeah, but skill and equipment being equal it's ALWAYS come down to a numbers game. How's that different from what things have always been everywhere? If you're out-numbered stop playing the numbers game and start hitting in ways that are hard to hit back against with sheer numbers.
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Did you even read this article?
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I completely agree with you, though I think the OP would agree with you as well regarding different play styles. He simply chose to focus on the whining of people about blobs in regards to sov and large battles.
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It absolutely is a good thing. Third party apps are the life blood of EVE, particularly when they hold player communities together.
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Why not exactly?
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"So where is the article on your lost Nyx from a few hours ago?""a few hours ago".The article is up already.
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Whenever I read any commentary about old fleet comps I can't but read them like:"By the time of the Great War, Goonswarm was fielding fleets with tech II sniper battleships with onions on their belts (that being the style at the time)"I can't help but being nostalgic about t2 sniper pests in particular.
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While EVE is full of hundreds of spaceships, each with its own sets of qualities; it rings true that it really comes down to numbers the larger the battle is. Granted there are a few examples that attempt to say otherwise, it is a matter of who brought more pilots. The difference between those who are baptized in combat and live for it verses those who dabble in combat now and then - becomes irrelevant.Hopefully tactics other than 'everyone align to x, lock y, press F1' emerges. We can only hope.
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^ Translation: "I didn't read or comprehend what was written, but I feel compelled to provide my commentary on it anyway".
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Is it wrong for larger alliances to have a big advantage in Sov warfare?
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There *are* consequences for losing ships. The thing is that, as mynnna said, those consequences can be dealt with ahead of time by logistics and organisation.Getting people able to reship quickly and jump straight back into battle is an achievement in itself, and a significant aspect of the emergent sandbox. Leave it the fuck alone.
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Individual piloting skill has absolutely zero relevance in nullsec warfare. I have no idea what you are blathering about.
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Again, I'll share some of my observations that contradict what you have said. Between fleets in the Tribute campaign I see people putting together roaming gangs (of all types), and gate camps all over Tribute/Vale (I travel a lot).What I don't see is how many people "go back to forsaken hubs" (I don't travel to/through the ratting grounds), but given the level of activity I see in the operational theatre, I would guess it's not a huge proportion.
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Obligatory "UMAD?" response notwithstanding, nothing I said wasn't true and the upvotes are obviously non-CFC members. Facts, btw, are usually backed by numbers/stats/references; I made no such claims. It's a grossly generalized view. I thought that was obvious.If you are however inferring that have in fact NOT won most of the sub cap engagements despite being outnumbered by a rather large margin then I shall strive to write my next entry in crayon.
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I agree with what has been said here, but would add, what is really lacking in eve is viable targets for small fleets to meaningfully contribute to sov warfare. While its fun and games to upscale combat, and that should remain the same, I think it would be a nice addition to the game for small gangs of roaming hacs and cruisers to be able to damage logistics and ISK faucets in 0.0 space if they were left unchecked and unopposed.
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I like that idea too, but I also think that the destruction of Sov infrastructure should require larger groups to attack seeing as they require large groups to install/maintain.However small gangs can and do play a role in sov warfare by disrupting player movements to/from major engagements, including logistics. As an emergent feature of EVE this is the best way to go.
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In the beginning it takes alot of skill to inflate your corps' numbers, and that is to be commended. However, once you have corps and alliances in the 9000 range you will have any tom, dick, and asshole from high sec wanting to join up, because they see an easier, carefree null life, filled with ship replacement and safe ratting. When this starts to happen, the average pilot is not elite pvp. And when they start to fill fleets, making battles 100 to 10, those 10 pilots are not going to win unless they all happen to be flying ships from a substantially higher tier. I don't see any way for them to nerf numbers in any way that will not break... well everything, but people should not kid themselves, a ton of awful pvp'ers can win against a few of the best pilots in eve, and it happens everyday. I don't know about this whole e-bushido thing, but plenty get far more enjoyment out of small gang pvp, and thats how they like it. Also, the green killboard means alot to some, and thats how they like it. Blobbing is just the tactic that combats both of those game plays, since you can't have small gangs, and even if you have a green killboard you still lost the war. So what's wrong with them hating blobs?
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There's a huge difference in the blob argument and the argument to use e.g. diminishing returns on the dmg when many ships are shooting one target. The numbers game is part of eve, run if you can't win, attack if you have backup, no big deal really. I can't claim to have a lot of experience in large fleet warfare but looking at the battle report videos, I feel no desire either. Could it not be more boring than to sit in a 200+ man fleet and click on target broadcasts and maybe be fast enough that your first volley actually lands before the ship is obliterrated? Having diminishing returns would just make it so that a large fleet fight would consist of coordinated smaller entities with their own but complementary objectives. One prime commander to guide the larger objective, a couple of secondary ones overseeing the sub objectives, and even more tertiary commanders doing target calling of smaller subgroups (assume e.g. that the breakpoint for efficiency of group size would be 10-20) . More opportunity for people to be active beyond trying to keep up with target broadcasting and getting their volleys of. If CCP would create a new layered tactical overview so that the commanders could view the battle from different scales following the success of their wings and squads in realtime, e.g. by seeing them color coded and with real time kill/loss statistics. I mean, to look at an actual large fleet battle must be something of the most boring one can see in this game, the actual run up to the fight, the initial positioning, drop tactics etc are way more interesting. Just saying, the blob is an inherent part of the game, to use it or to avoid it. But changing how large fleet works from being one big inefficient gun towards something that requires skill at many different levels can't be anything than good for the game.
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I was hoping for something other than spin - I understand that's the key point of this site - but it may have been interesting to see a balanced factual account. Maybe some other time.
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Maybe someday!
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Fantastic read, but I feel it would be stronger without the self-referencing. There is a lot of insight here, and a newer player would learn a lot from reading it. Bringing up how you "called it" kind of spoils what would be an otherwise perfect article. Just my two cents.
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WIth every tom, dick, and asshole from highsec wanting to join up for an easier, carefree nullsec life, who needs technetium for an income?As for what's wrong with them hating blobs, let's turn that around. What's wrong with blobs just because they are a hard counter to somebody else's playstyle?
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Blueing is true-blue though. the article makes, in my opinion, a great point about how the 'quality of blue' is so essential. having 'pets' or alliances in your coalition with limited access and therefore limited care about what happens to that coalition, means that coalition is weak. if blueing meant you get more quality combat-pilots into fleet, then everyone would do it.
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You see some camps. No more or less than any normal alliance - just the same old collections of a few guys here and there and the occasional bigger roam or sabre/falcon combo. I guess there's a slightly larger than usual number of people camping the pipe up from m-o to h-w, but by the same token m-o is almost always busy regardless of who owns it.http://evemaps.dotlan.net/map/... looks pretty active to me and that's just 1 region. Plus most of the talk on the SA forum itself is about how to rat hubs as efficiently as possible. Not sure if that translates to the goonfleet forums themselves but whatever. On top of that ncdot tends to be one of those alliances that forms up for timers and is fairly inactive otherwise, so there's not a great deal of kills to be had unless you're trying to catch the remaining evac-ers from tribute. Given that most of the kills by goons in the m-o pipe are done by 6-12 people I'd say that the rest are either ratting or ship spinning in UMI. Added to that is the fact that a lot of the kills in UMI are actually CFC losses to small gangs and solo-ers.
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"Some highly-skilled groups such as Pandemic Legion have a history of fighting and winning against overwhelming numbers. Note, however, that winners don't call for a nerf to numbers. They generally like having lots of targets." It is easy to win when you have all that Tech and can drop a Super/Titan fleet of PL's magnitude. You obviously ignores the means to their "winner" status.
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I still never said blobbing was "bad". It's a legit tactic (much like the former tracking titans were) and will be used if it can be used. I'm just saying the opposition is also entitled to hate it. Many different play styles exist in eve, it's a broad game (and not just pvp), and people will hate those opposing styles if it encroaches on theirs (much like the tracking titans did to goonies). If the blob crowd can bitch about those things, then the other crowd can bitch about blobs. Both ways can be argued as game breaking, and both can be argued as the way the game is suppose to be played
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I'm not a goon and I live in a wormhole. Also, you are spouting idiocy.
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I would suggest that this game would be more fun if fleet size didn't more or less decide sov fights. That being said obviously this opinion is up for debate. I just believe current SOV mechanics only allow for one style of play. I think it would be good if large was an advantage but not the deciding factor.
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While I agree not all smaller alliances are higher skill many smaller alliances recruit and use fleet types that are designed to be higher skill.If you are part of a bigger alliance and don't take on any extra jobs beyond pressing F1 i would argue you ARE low skill. I know every alliance has skilled players just bigger ones have a larger percentage of F1 pushers.Lets just say i disagree with the article. I think the problem with EVE right now is money comes too easy and large alliances can use a very Russian like "human wave" doctrine. I think nerfing the blob means making it almost impossible for alliances to be able to afford ship replacements when they throw ships away on a daily basis.Thats just me but, that is the game i hope for. Obviously it's not my choice.
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lol, you basically just said something new and acted like it was in response to me. And this has happened a few times now. Really beginning to think this whole mittani website is a propaganda machine after all, pity
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it's a goonie website dude, almost every article has at least a hint of propaganda. And blobs are goonies' bread and butter
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almost ever article I've read on this site has said -A- is shit, seriously starting to sound like someone's got an inferiority complex
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it's the classic "what's good for CCp / whats's good for the game" discussion. But CCp will alwyas act in the way they feel will bring in more plays, and keep more players. So blobbing aint goin' nowhere
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it isn't exactly an advantage. It means you're gonna win. Then only the 9000+ member alliances have sov. I imagine an eve where all sov is held by goonies, and I love it; you know why? They would all quit, becuase when no one's actually fighting them for sov they are losing most battles. And without that constant "winning" feeling from sov grind, how long do you think they would stick around? That's why so many flood into the goons, they wanna feel the "winning" feeling
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having the sov gives the isk to have that ability. Which means logically james is saying everyone should join and form huge alliances, because clearly thats the smart way to go. You can't say that isn't implied in this article. Now, let's say that happened, there's 2 or 3 mega coalitions encompassing all of null. How would YOU feel about every battle involving 600 players on both sides, in an impossible grind, where tidi is always maxed, and in the end everyone reshipped 20 times and nothing much ever came out of each fight besides alot of lost isk? Would that still be fun for you? Would you be as quick to join fleet if you knew that was how it was gonna be?
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sadly that is how goonies look at the issue
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an awful lot of commenters have been reaching pretty far to get tidbits like that out of that aritcle. I think the article stated what it stated. All this reading into stuff just wasn't in it. Though that may be how james feels, it's not in the article
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he was blathering about what the article said was he not?
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Maybe that's because -A- are shit, there's no point in beating around the bush when it's staring you in the face.
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Here's an interesting fact for you: I am part of one of the biggest coalitions, but I very rarely join large fleets. Instead I get involved in small gang warfare.Your suggestion that large coalitions could only result in nothing but large battles is ridiculous.
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Your imagination is pretty wild, but unfortunately not anchored in reality. There is plenty of space out there that any large coalition wouldn't bother taking. Why would anybody decide to take and hold all of nullsec?
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I've seen plenty of fights for sov where a smaller fleet has beaten a larger fleet.
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Actually, you said "It's a legit tactic" and in his response he said "[it] is not a tactic, rather ...", then proceeded to give a reason why the opposition shouldn't be "entitled to hate it" (something else you said).
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so what i'm hearing is, you prefer small gang becuase it's more fun, but you want the blobs so your coalition is still winning?And I was giving a hypothetical, and you answered it in a way that shows how hypocritical all your arguments have been
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so only the goons are entitled to hate the things that hamper their gameplay? And it is a tactic, the goonies choose to keep inviting people in goonswarm, and they actively seek to have as many as they can, by regularly pouring in noobs. Other organizations want to focus on smaller groups, with specialized skills, becuase its a tactic. anyone who can't see that lacks the intelligence to respond appropriately
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when did I say anyone would want to hold all of null sec?
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Excellent article. It is no surprise to me that the CFC is stomping all over NC. For example, the CFC take noobs and train them up to be competent fleet members. Who cares if they are not elite pvpers?! They become extremely good at blobbing. Surely that is a skill like any other? A number of corps in NCdot go on with elite bullshit selection criteria. No wander they can't beat the blob, they have very few members.
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I await the Goonswarm vs TEST war. Coming soon. O wait...
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Cool propaganda bro
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A blob can only control one grid at a time..: Create territorial sov vulnerabilities that are spread across many grids and systems, that are vulnerable to smaller numbers, and which expand faster than the rate of growth of that player empire. I like the idea of a more meaninful sov tiers system which shuts out the goals of smaller groups in the higher levels, but which leaves the infrastructure vulnerable at the periphery and lowest tier sov. Larger groups should be able to directly challenge some of the higher level sov structures, but making the highest levels invulnerable until the periphery is breached should lead to long term player generated content.
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You dont understand most peoples reason they want numbers nerfed at all.In all of Eve the theme is risk vs reward and when that balance is off the game follows. As of now it costs nothing to have 35k allies and that is the sigular most powerful weapon/ship/mechanic in the game.Saying its E-Bushido is BS, and a very old BoB age argument.Just like a Titan risks 80 bil more ISK and a 20 Bil ISK Character/1.5 years time than a Rifter pilot so should the numbers risk something. As of now they arent, the mechanic/Balance is way way off.This makes a GSF with 155 CEO`s with 5 directors a pop making a ton of ISK is allowed to make alot of ISK because it doesnt cost anything to be ally and has every advantage....You need to pay something for numbers just like you pay something for Pirate BS`s vs T1 BS`s. Numbers are a powerful tool if not the most powerful so why should they have 0 negatives. Its like having a frigate with a Titans weapon and can Dual tank while keeping speed. Sorry but in this game powerful weapons/Tools cost lots and the most powerful is numbers, leave it how it is now and its simply a recruiting game where every alliance in HiSec to make ISk will simply join a newb Alli with huge numbers.Just call it recruiting online.
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On principal ill agree that nothing should be done to control the blob: but id like to point out that your alliance is the biggest blobbers in the game,so you lose a bit of credibility with your arguement: after all its no surprise when a drunk advocates against prohibition: You assume that ~elite pvp~ is failing to adapt to the new truth of eve, and that by not chaseing numbers they are either short sighted or stupid or even worse cant seem to treat other alliances or corps with any respect. In fact, ~elite pvp~ seeks to keep thier numbers down purposely, and allthough aware that this is going to prove to be a loseing strategy in end,choose to do it anyway. WHY? well.. in short its more how you achieve your victory over IF you achieve it. Winning by simply outnumbering your foe isnt winning by ~elite pvp~ standards or at the very least not nearly as fun. In order to maximize our available numbers you have to be able to fly the hard counter to everything,this means YES skillpoints matter, we dont look down on the noob but we know this isnt the place for him.. its harsh its mean its hard and he isnt very usefull. Alliances like PL,NCdot, Black legion are the place you go when anchoring and smashing f1 isnt fun anymore, its where you go when you want to matter in a fleet, where if you live or die may very well depend on YOUR ability to get out of trouble. Green killboards, well they count kills and losses the same way : yours mine thiers all the same so .. if all things are equal and mine is bigger than yours well then its a fair enough metric. Are you the next bob?; you can chop it up by saying ,we are a coalition of seperate allainces therefore we are not bob and its just wordplay. Your CFC .. all other alliances have lost whatever identity they once had to be CFC.
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Since the article is all about historical references, why does it fail to mention the largest blob to date, the old NC, which got defeated?
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you're questioning "reasoning" behind my imagination?
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so you want to be in a huge coalition but don't want to fight in big battles?
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I never made any mention of what I do or don't "want". Those are bits you're making up.
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actually it was a question, signified by the "?"
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It may have had a "?" at the end, but it sounded pretty rhetorical to me.If it wasn't meant to be rhetorical, then no. I was simply providing an example of somebody who is in a huge alliance who gets fights that involve far less than 600 players on both sides, no TiDi, and nobody reshipping 20 times as a counterpoint to your hypothetical future with large coalitions ruling nullsec.
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since you enjoy small gang warfare, would you say you are less likely to want to join such monstrously large battles? (not rhetorical, a simple yes or no would be fine, you tend to answer in paragraphs actually give no answer, and lead nowhere)
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aside from the fact it helps to retain members, why do you like the idea of extremely large coalitions, since you said you belong to one? And if you don't like the idea, why have you done nothing but argue for it?
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I enjoy both small gangs and large battles (one reason why I like being in the CFC). What I actually *get to do* varies based on inclination and opportunity at the time. The only issue with big battles for me is the longer time commitment, so with my RL commitments frequently interrupting I don't get as many opportunities to engage in large battles as I do in small gang stuff. This is entirely separate from what I "enjoy" or "want" which you seem so focused on and I haven't commented on at all until now.It's not that I give no answer or lead nowhere, it's just that when people make massive assumptions leading down the garden path away from any reasonable conversation I tend to prefer to not go after them.
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if CCp nerfs the shit out of tech and the cfc were to fall apart, was it changing a game token, or emergent gameplay? lol
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first, I didn't say anything in that comment abotu any of what you just said. Second, there are tons of games I would say the makers are actually making worse in order to get more people playing it. It would be like if they suddenly dumbed down eve to such a degree that 300 thousand more people became members. Yeah, CCp would make more money, but would the game be better?
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Which one, CCP nerfing tech or the CFC falling apart? They're not necessarily two things that go hand in hand, especially given that Goons are one of the most vocal groups wanting a tech nerf.
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the assumption was that cfc could no longer reimburse to such an extent. The more a large alliance becomes like a small alliance, the less likely people will be drawn to them. But if that happens, and CCp gives no way to tax that money back (and surely goons would never rent) would it have been CCp's engineering, or emergent gameplay that caused the fall of the coalition?
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I had to ask what you "enjoy" after so many of your comments to me and others seem to follow the socratic "how do you know it's bad" and "well then how do you know it's good" format, which comes off as disingenuous, and bordering on massive troll. Not that I'm calling you that, but you seem to have no real feeling for, or an invested interest in, this current subject, aside from that fact you're a member of the cfc
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Did he seriously just suggest that TEST and Goons have 9000 GOOD PVPers rather than 9000 people who can fit a drake and press F1...
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We have blap dreads
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I have simply called you on your fallacious statements such as that james is saying "everyone should join and form huge alliances", that every battle would involve 600 pilots etc. I provided an example of evidence that suggests your assertions are false, and didn't bite when you paraphrased what I hadn't said.I am very invested in this subject because I like this game as a sandbox where people can make their own objectives. Any poorly thought out change made to cater to misconceptions that blobbing is inherently bad would destroy the sandbox that I love.
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So you've made an assumption that the CFC wouldn't adapt with change as the foundation of your query. If you really want an explanation of the difference between designed features of a game and emergent play, I suggest you look up the books by Ernest Adams on the subject ("Fundamentals of Game Design" and "Game Mechanics, Advanced Game Design").
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It's a sandbox.
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if you remember from the start I never said blodding should be haulted by CCp, I said it was a tactic (which it is, anyone is fooling themselves if they think it isn't). And the only thing I said about James was that he makes massive coalitions seem like the desired endpoint of anyone, because he beleives forming such a large group takes skill (which it does) and shows how good they are, and that smaller alliances are not better simply because they may have very skilled pvp'ers. If he's secretly saying massive coalitions are bad or worse then the smaller "leet" pvp alliances I'm missing that.And from what I hear the cfc only wins wars because they can bring massive groups (dunno if they are 600 or not) to grind down the sov. All that I was saying is that blobbing does make it all the more difficult for other playstyles, and that it does clearly have effects that are bad, and have not been thought about enough by developers.Also the whole "sandbox" defense is really getting belabored by people. Nothing is a sandbox when developers can change things on a whim and make the game entirely different; titan nerf, upcoming tech nerf, etc. Shitty things can happen to people in this game, get ganked, get scammed, etc. and I love it, and it does make it feel more realistic But the sandbox simply doesn't exist. Especially if a person can be banned in game for saying things out of game; it's not a sandbox.
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that was a wonderful non-answer, I commend you
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Before I go into this, please note that throughout my career, and in many roles, I have been employed in part to challenge people's assumptions (or facilitate them challenging their own assumptions). So the questions I'm about to ask are not a "non-answer", but a challenge to the assumptions you have made.Exactly what are these effects of blobbing, and how do you know that they are clearly bad? What is your measurement for "good" and "bad" in this context anyway?What makes you think that blobbing hasn't been carefully considered by the developers? Could it be that they have seen it (surely they've at least noticed, over the many years this game has been running, that people "blob") and considered it perfectly ok in the context of the gameplay experience that they want to provide? After all, they do say on their main website "Politics is key to the forging of alliances and the grand coalitions that make possible the control of large swathes of the cluster by capsule pilots".So you assert that EVE Online is not a sandbox. Do you disagree with Wikipedia's definition of the term ("A true "sandbox" is where the player has tools to modify the world themselves and create how they play"), or do you disagree that it applies to EVE Online?
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I find it difficult to focus on any of your questions because you ended your post with a quote from fucking wikipedia... So I will ask, do you see any negatives to massive coalitions forming in eve?
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Perhaps links from Gamasutra on the topic might hold more credibility for you then? I chose "fucking wikipedia" because it was somewhere that is accessible and concise, but the general definition of the term "sandbox" is the same across the industry. People even use EVE as an example of a sandbox game (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/....Perhaps Ernest Adams' article on Sandbox Storytelling (Ernest Adams is a founding member of the International Game Developer's Association, and veteran game designer) would meet your standard for credible definition (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/.... In particular "In sandbox storytelling, the idea is to give the player a big open world populated with opportunities for interesting interactions". Is this not what EVE Online does?The only negative I see to massive coalitions is the potential to have large battles and put stress on the server infrastructure. Now that's only a negative if you don't like large battles. Massive coalitions forming in EVE is simply part of players modifying the world and creating how they play.
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other then server issues, you don't see any issues, ok.
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So now that you've dodged answering anything about the sandbox term (which is important to the consideration of massive coalitions), what do you see as being wrong with the ability to have massive coalitions?
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i'm not reading all that bullshit you posted about above. you read it if you want to. there is no freedom in eve, everything is looked closely after by devs (no too close sometimes) and things are changed in direct response to issues in the game. Look at the miners, rampant ganking pretty much lead directly to the over buffing of the mack and skiff's ehp. Those large groups in null that saw the tracking titans as the win all of null bitched loud enough that they were nerfed. And now CCp made the alchemy, and will probably make ring mining in response to the moon goo issue. Only so much in this game is actually player driven. And who knows, if moon goo is nerfed with the bat really hard, organizations like the cfc may be up shits creek, with no substantial isk income, limiting their ability to make war (unless all those members actually try to make isk for themselves, and the cfc figures out how to tax em'). If something like these upcoming changes cause someone like the cfc to slowly crumble to pieces, then that was not truly driven by players, it was another change caused by developers. We have no freedom, and just because CCp has tended to act in the favor of cfc complaining in the past does not mean these advances for their coalition was player driven
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"i'm not reading all that bullshit you posted about above."Then I'm stopping there in your wall of text. If you're not prepared to educate yourself then I'm not going to push water uphill for you. That "bullshit" is from a game development industry website, no THE game dev industry website. If you think that's "bullshit", then there's no possibility for further conversation on any game dev related topic (which EVE being a sandbox is a subtopic of).
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i really don't give a shit about some theories a dev somewhere came up with, i know the realities of a game. devs change it. I play it. there's really no further thought to it, and anyone who plays eve should know the reality of it. I don't need to read what one guy thinks a goddamn "sandbox" is. It's a place a bunch of 5 year olds go to play in the sand while their parents watch them... sounds like eve to me

One of the oldest and most enduring complaints that players have about nullsec warfare is supremacy of "the blob". In most online games – and in most games, period – teams have an equal number of players. But in EVE, battles and wars can be incredibly one-sided from a numerical standpoint. It's no surprise that people don't like fighting outnumbered (when they lose, that is). However, I find the nature of the complaint as it is applies to EVE – the motives, the myths, and the implications – to be revealing.

Angst about "the blob" is not likely to go away any time soon. The highly successful Goonswarm and TEST alliances have over 9,000 members each and are growing every day. When defeated, the enemies of large coalitions have a choice: concede that they were outclassed by their opponents, or complain about the unfair numbers. The latter can be a tempting option.

Requests for a nerf to "numbers" or a nerf to "blobbing" come in many forms. One of the classics is the concept of a diminishing return or stacking penalty on the effect of focus fire, with each additional ship doing less damage to the target. Other ideas have included nerfs to common, cheap, useful ships (e.g. Drakes). SirMolle, the leader of the late Band of Brothers alliance, repeatedly asked CCP to remove ship insurance from the game entirely, hoping to give his elite tech II fleets a greater advantage over his tech I-blobbing enemies.

Whatever the mechanics, the core of the request is the same: put some kind of limitation on the usefulness of flooding the battlefield with as many soldiers as possible.

In this post, I will weigh the merits of the "nerf blobbing" argument. To summarize briefly, there are none. Those who wish to limit the advantage of a bigger fleet or bigger coalition simply don't understand the game.

Readers who are accustomed to enjoying – or suffering through – my essays related to highsec matters may be perplexed to find me writing about nullsec. In recent months, my name has become closely associated with highsec. There have even been repeated calls for me to run for CSM and serve as the voice of highsec.

Newer players may be surprised to learn that for most of my EVE "career", I spent all of my time engaged in nullsec PvP. I was a line member in Goonswarm during what I consider nullsec's formative years, 2007-08, when the Goons grew in strength enough to permanently block the Band of Brothers from attaining dominance. (Anticipating this development and desiring to witness it firsthand, I joined the Goons on August 17, 2007. This became known as "Black Friday" among BoB's chief pet, RISE alliance. The Goons created a wiki page simply entitled "August 17th" to commemorate the happenings of that fateful day. Neither had anything to do with me, however – I simply had good timing, you might say.)

In discussing this topic I will illuminate my points with historical context and contemporary examples. I recognize that some readers may find this frustrating. For example, newer players who have never heard of BoB may question BoB's relevance. Other readers may be annoyed by references to Goonswarm; enemies of the Goons sometimes feel Goons have too much influence in EVE and get undue emphasis in EVE-related material.

Although I understand both of those reactions, there are good reasons why things are they way they are. Centrally, EVE's history is the story of how the Goons rose and defeated BoB. Goons and BoB were two very different alliances with two very different ways of approaching the game. Goons won, BoB lost. As a result, the "Goon" way of doing things became dominant, and the "BoB" approach didn't. This has consequences for EVE today, and for the future of EVE in nullsec.

WHY PEOPLE THINK BLOBBING SHOULD BE NERFED

"Blobbing" shouldn't be nerfed, but it's important to understand why some people think it should. At its core, it's motivated by one of the great myths of EVE: the myth of the elite e-Bushido samurai who fights against a horde of skill-less noobs.

Whenever one alliance or coalition is defeated by a larger alliance or coalition, the losers comes up with all kinds of excuses to justify their loss. A favored rationalization is that the losers are superior, but were simply outnumbered by people who didn't "deserve" to beat them. That's the myth, in a nutshell.

The truth is, more often than not, the side with greater numbers also has equal or greater skill. There are exceptions, of course. Some highly-skilled groups such as Pandemic Legion have a history of fighting and winning against overwhelming numbers. Note, however, that winners don't call for a nerf to numbers. They generally like having lots of targets. The people who do complain, those who lose, are usually deluding themselves when they claim to have a more skilled force. Let me give you an example.

In the most dramatic development in nullsec this year, the coalition led by Against All Authorities (-A-) lost three regions in a very short time. -A-'s coalition was very large, but so was the coalition put together by their enemies (Goons, TEST, PL). Not only was -A- repeatedly outnumbered, the general consensus is that -A-'s fleet performance was laughably bad, and that its overall leadership was inept in every way. -A- was outclassed by its enemies on every level.

To make matters worse, -A- was infiltrated by spies who continually released audio recordings of -A-'s fleet comms. -A-'s main fleet commander, Makalu Zarya, became a laughingstock across EVE as recording after recording demonstrated his poor leadership. Some observers even began to suggest – not entirely in jest – that Makalu must have been acting as a double-agent, deliberately embarrassing his alliance. In all the years I have played EVE, I've never seen anything quite like it.

If ever there was a group of people who couldn't blame their loss on being outnumbered, it was -A-. Yet even they held onto the myth that they were really elite and more skilled than their enemies. Incredibly, Makalu continues to serve as their primary fleet commander.

The point of this example is to demonstrate that an alliance or coalition's capacity for self-deception is almost without limit.

THE MYTH OF THE E-BUSHIDO

The "nerf numbers" argument, like so much else, has its historical roots in the BoB vs. Goons saga. When people said BoB was "elitist", they weren't just trying to insult BoB. Elitism was the entire purpose of BoB's existence. The only glue that held BoB together was the belief that they were an "endgame" alliance with the best pilots, and that people should join BoB if they wanted to win every battle. BoB pilots compared themselves to samurai, quoted Sun Tzu, and made posts about "Bushido" and "honour". This would have been hilarious, except that they were entirely serious about it. They fully bought into in their own elitism.

Once it became clear that BoB wasn't invincible, and that in fact they could be consistently beaten by their enemies, there was no more reason for BoB to exist. That's why BoB faded away completely, while other, superficially weaker, alliances from that era are still around. I first diagnosed this problem and predicted the outcome in July 2007, when most observers still believed BoB was destined to conquer most or all of nullsec.

When I joined Goonswarm that summer, I was able to confirm my suspicion that BoB pilots weren't the elite fighting force they believed themselves to be. In fact, Goon fleets often outmaneuvered and tore BoB fleets to bits, even when the numbers were roughly equal. I also noticed that Goon fleet commanders were usually of a higher caliber than BoB's.

Goonswarm, of course, has its own origin story. Their founder, Remedial, based the organization on the concept of using large numbers of cheap ships to overwhelm their opponents. In Goonswarm (then "Goonfleet")'s early days, they did indeed use tons of rifters and other cheap ships to take down expensive HACs and the like. They also encouraged a lot of newbies to join the game and jump into combat immediately.

On its face, the Goon origin story seems to give credence to the e-Bushido myth. But by the time Goonswarm had evolved and began defeating BoB, the days of rifter swarms were long over. By diving directly into nullsec and concentrating on PvP, the newbies caught up rapidly. By the time of the Great War, Goonswarm was fielding fleets with tech II sniper battleships (the doctrine of the day), HACs, recons, and super-carriers. However, Goons continued to cultivate the image of a swarm of frenzied newbies, because they knew it infuriated their enemies and energized Goon recruitment efforts.

Contrary to the myth, there's nothing about a large fleet/alliance/coalition that inherently suggests the average pilot lacks skill. Nor should anyone assume that a smaller group is highly skilled. If anything, the opposite is true, due to the skills needed to form and organize a larger fleet – but more on that in a moment.

The desire to "nerf numbers", which first came to prominence with BoB and will continue for as long as EVE is around, is based on a kind of reasoning in reverse. The logic begins with the assumption that the loser is elite and awesome and should always win. Starting from that conclusion, the logic works backward and determines "blobbing should be nerfed" until the loser wins. At no point does the loser ever consider the possibility that his alliance was not, in fact, superior in any way, but was instead both inferior and outnumbered.

It should be no surprise that it began with a group like BoB, dedicated to the assumption that they should never lose. But this kind of thinking will always be around, as long as there are alliances that buy into the delusion of their own greatness.

THE KILLBOARD IS GREEN

BoB may have been the worst offender, but any alliance that takes itself too seriously can fall prey to e-Bushdio disease. Case in point: I'm continually amazed to see what I call the "Green Killboard Fallacy" still alive and well after all these years. Alliances have a tendency to focus too much on kill-to-death ratios, rather than achieving their objectives. The Green Killboard Fallacy takes it to a whole new level. Since it's so obvious, I am almost hesitant to explain the fallacy, but I'll do so simply because it's such a constant presence in EVE:

Alliance killboards give an alliance full credit for a kill as long as even one member of the alliance is somewhere on the killmail. If 99% of the damage was done by other members of the coalition, the alliance still gets full credit. However, an alliance killboard only records a loss if a member of the alliance dies; deaths from other members of the coalition don't count. There's no negative equivalent of a kill-assist, in other words. The fallacy applies to alliance killboards, corp killboards, and personal killboard stats.

Thus, killboards will always greatly exaggerate the kill-to-death ratio of any group you want to look up, providing "elite" stats for anyone who likes that sort of thing. Everyone's kill-to-death ratio can be positive, and all the killboards can be green.

That's it. Internal propaganda based on killboards should have debunked into nonexistence from day one, but the fallacy is just as prevalent today as it was when killboards were first introduced. Luckily, there has been a move toward killboards based on fleet battles as opposed to organizations; these attempt to present all participants from both sides in a battle, regardless of alliance, and compare kills/losses in a more reasonable manner. But you can be sure that alliances and corporations on the losing side will nevertheless scurry back to their internal forums and present their members with glowing statistics about their own group's KDR – theoretically, every corp/alliance can have a green killboard.

Once you've contracted e-Bushido disease, it's easy to believe the lie that you only lost because you were outnumbered. In doing so, you probably don't give much thought to the question of why you allowed yourself to be outnumbered. Let's consider that now.

BUILDING NUMBERS

If the myth about elite spaceship samurai being unfairly defeated by hordes of newbies is true, then every good samurai should consider why he doesn't just bring in his own horde of newbies. If TEST and Goons are destined to conquer nullsec because they have so many members, then logically, every other nullsec alliance should be scrambling to recruit a bunch of newbies and build a bunch of rifters. In fact, I recommend all the losing alliances try this, because the results would be interesting regardless of the outcome.

It is said that quantity has a quality all its own. I would argue that if an alliance can put a large quantity of soldiers on the battlefield, that's a proof of the alliance's quality as well. It's not easy to build a large fleet.

Note the key difference between a large alliance and a large fleet. Any alliance that holds space in nullsec can freely invite PvE'ers and accumulate members. Getting all those members into a fleet and having them actively participate in the war is another matter. After -A-'s coalition (SoCo) got kicked out of three regions began wailing about unfair numbers, their enemies were quick to counter with statistics about participation rates. Only a tiny fraction of SoCo's members bothered to show up and defend their own territory. In other words, it was SoCo's own fault that they were outnumbered. They need not have been.

When an alliance is able to recruit people who will even consider fighting to defend the alliance, that shows skill. Motivating those potential soldiers to actually show up in fleet also requires skill. As does equipping all those soldiers with proper ships and weapons. Doing all of the above repeatedly, even after losses, is another demonstration of an alliance's skill.

If your alliance assets aren't used for the benefit of ordinary alliance members, it will be difficult for your alliance to fully mobilize. And if some other alliance does use its assets to help its members fight, you're at a huge disadvantage. If one alliance puts its money into its military (e.g. the Goons' large-scale reimbursement policies), and the other alliance's money disappears into the ether (e.g., selling isk on eBay, padding leaders' wallets, handing out supercaps to senior leaders who already quit EVE, etc.), it should be no surprise who wins the war.

It goes further. Today, we live in the age of coalitions. Important battles rarely take place between two alliances acting alone. The size of one's coalition is hugely dependent upon diplomatic skill (and propaganda). Not only does an alliance need to build and maintain the coalition, an alliance must be careful when choosing its coalition partners. In the same way recruiting a new pilot isn't the same as getting that pilot on the battlefield, setting another alliance blue isn't the same as getting that other alliance to send soldiers. And if they do send soldiers, they need to be coordinated with the rest of the coalition. Then the coalition members must be persuaded to stay in the fight, even after losses are suffered.

Some of the tasks I listed above require so much skill and effort that those who perform them will find it almost offensive that I listed them in a sentence each. Taking all of those difficult tasks into consideration, it's almost as if the side bringing overwhelming numbers into the battle earned their victory.

THE AGE OF COALITIONS

The difference in the way BoB and Goonswarm dealt with friendly alliances is very revealing. In late 2006, when Goonswarm was in crisis and looking for a new home, they teamed up with Red Alliance and the Tau Ceti Federation. Red and TCF had problems of their own, and the team-up was very beneficial for all three alliances. Though it wasn't the first coalition in EVE, it was the first time I can recall seeing a genuine coalition identity. While still keeping their separate identities, the members often referred to themselves as the "RedSwarm Federation", combined their logos in propaganda artwork, etc. They knew they needed each other, they stuck together, and the coalition proved tremendously successful. Despite Goons' reputation for being scammers and lacking "e-honour", Goonswarm was among the most loyal entities in the game when it came to dealing with their friends.

BoB was on the other end of the spectrum. Once again, the elitism that defined BoB also served to be its Achilles heel. BoB was incapable of viewing any other alliance as anything but inferior. They treated friendly alliances like garbage, because they viewed their "friends" (which they called "pets") as being beneath them. And when a friendly alliance did show signs of strength, BoB still treated them like garbage, because said strength threatened BoB's ego and aroused BoB's suspicion.

BoB's most powerful ally was the Mercenary Coalition. MC's leader, Seleene, was interested in having BoB create a coalition (led by BoB) with MC and some other friendly alliances. Seleene believed the combined strength of the coalition could wipe out all opposition in nullsec. BoB rejected Seleene's idea and began invading its former "friends" instead. Later, as MC (which was still BoB's ally) grew more powerful, BoB became jealous of MC. BoB alienated MC by treating it as a "pet", and MC eventually turned against BoB.

The contrast is stark: Goonswarm was forced by circumstances into a coalition mindset, while BoB maintained an ego-driven alliance mindset. If BoB had gone down the coalition route, things would have turned out very differently. One look at the picture of nullsec today makes it obvious which EVE philosophy won: Coalitions rule nullsec, and they are here to stay.

Not all members of a coalition are equal in power. Coalitions are usually led by one or two of their most powerful member-alliances. Yet coalitions require each alliance to treat the others with some level of respect; they need to view each other as equals on some level, even if their contributions cannot be militarily equivalent. Some alliances succeed, but others fall into the trap of elitism. In the age of coalitions, alliances that take the BoB approach will eventually share BoB's fate.

If you find yourself heavily outnumbered in a war, don't throw up your hands and say "EVE sucks because your alliance needs 10,000 members to hold any space." Instead, reconsider how you're treating other alliances, and make an effort to understand why your enemies were able to put together a more powerful coalition.

THE NEXT BOB?

In recent years, there has been much talk about whether Goonswarm will become the next BoB and threaten to conquer all nullsec. With the rise of TEST, some make comparisons between BoB and TEST, or imagine a Goon/TEST coalition that dominates the whole galaxy. The next time Goonswarm or TEST wins a major war, don't be surprised if that kind of speculation intensifies. It won't be too long before Goonswarm and TEST have over 10,000 members each, and I foresee a lot of hand-wringing about numbers.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not someone who takes the approach that EVE's preexisting mechanics are perfect and that everyone needs to adapt. Sometimes nerfs and rebalances are necessary. For example, doomsday devices were horribly broken for a long time. (I would have passionately advocated changing doomsdays were it not for the fact that I already knew how they would be changed long in advance.) Sov warfare is far from perfect. The mechanics of taking and defending space in nullsec have always had major problems; fixing sov warfare has a permanent place on CCP's "to-do" list.

However, I believe the days when one alliance or group of alliances could threaten to conquer all nullsec are past. The threat died with BoB. There's a big difference between galactic domination by an alliance versus galactic domination by a coalition. For BoB, victory meant BoB holding sovereignty everywhere. If that happened, BoB's dominance would have continued until its leadership had some kind of crack-up. Total victory for a coalition would look quite different.

In the age of coalitions, galactic domination would not involve an alliance holding sovereignty everywhere; it would mean an alliance having the entirety of nullsec set blue.

Once it's set in those terms, you can see why it's extremely unlikely. First of all, most would find it undesirable to have nullsec filled with nothing but blues. Second, each member of the coalition that wants to gain strength could only gain it through conflict with its fellow coalition member(s). Without an external threat to bond them, and with endless possibilities for internal conflict, the galactic coalition would be a ticking time bomb.

CONCLUSION

Alliances should not delude themselves into thinking they are an elite fighting force that "deserves" to win through fighting skill instead of numbers. Alliances that find themselves heavily outnumbered in a war should recognize that they could very well lack fighting skill and numbers. Rather than despairing about the effect of "blobbing" coalitions ruining the game, they should view the diplomatic puzzle of always staying on the right side of the numbers as an essential part of the game.

No longer can an alliance view itself as an island. In the age of coalitions, everyone within traveling distance is a potential friend or enemy in every war you fight. Just as an alliance must take internal steps to maximize its own fleet participation, an alliance must also use diplomacy to maximize its coalition partners – and minimize its enemies'.

James 315

MinerBumping.com

 

James 315 has a distinguished history of combat in nullsec, mostly fighting against the Band of Brothers alliance, which was a bad alliance. Recently he has moved to highsec, where he currently serves as Father of the New Order and Saviour of Highsec