Thursday, September 13, 2012

Why Do I Even Bother?

For months on end, night after night, my fleets clashed with the Minmatar in the triangle of doom (maybe death is better than doom?) Epic battles from thrasher free for alls in minor plexes to the only capital fight in US TZ for the last eight months.
After Fweddit and MT left for Caldari space I changed how and what we flew. Mostly smaller faster ships. We roamed the war zone looking for little fights, brawls, and ganks. You may be surprised in how little we found.
After a few roams all over the war zone, some nights going as much as sixty jumps without killing more than a rifter I was bored, burnt out, and hating Eve. I got this way a few times. I wanted a fucking fight! But since LNA is lazy and all they do is sit in triangle of death night after night you have to go into them. Below Im going to detail what happens when I take a fleet to kourn area.
Step 1 Form fleet, get 8-12 pilots.
Step 2 Pick ships.
Step 3 Shake your head as half the people can't fly what you need.
Step 4 Roam down to Kourm area and bait the gate camp.
Step 5 Kill a few things. 
Step 6 Either hang around waiting for LNA to forum up or leave.
Step 7 Fight LNA (Late Night Alliance) blob and die in a fire.
This is how it goes almost every time. I guess I have a reputation for running away now as Susan Black and Gritz like to point out. But what are my options? I can't get my guys a fight anywhere but around Kourm. When I do chose to fight in Kourm I'm almost always outnumbered and out shipped. The Minmatar base there. They see what we have and ship accordingly.
We can either take a fight we have little chance of winning or leave. Either option is not very appealing to me. Last night I asked for drakes and canes. I got about half the fleet into the right ships. The rest was kitchen sink. When LNA finally came to fight they had almost all BC's and matched my numbers. They also had links and we did not. I ended up welping half of my fleet and we got three kills.
Later on LNA did an amazing thing and came over to Sisiede. We had been playing around with a few neutrals and killed their Vagabond. A war target Vexor landed at the sun and we killed it but not before one of our BC's was pointed and local spiked by around ten war targets. Some pleasant local banter followed where I was told I always run away. I mentioned the numbers and reshipping issues. To that Susan Black told me to get more people.
Believe me we have been trying. We are getting new pilots. Unfortunately many just don't have the Skill Points to fly what I need to effectivly fight the Minmatar head to head. There are just not that many pilots with the skills and wallets needed that want to join Amarr.
Every night I ask how many pilots are online in both Militias. The average is about sixty Amarr and 240 Minmatar. Last night had 9 pilots online. The entire Amarr Militia had 38! We had about a quarter of the entire militia online in our Corp. Add in alts and Afk people and it was probably closer to half.
So why do I bother getting fleets up? I know we won't find much on a two hour roam. I know I can't fight in Kourm area effectively. We get more kills hunting in small packs in the Dal cluster. What is the point of even trying to do an organized fleet?
To answer my own question, because I need to. Because people like fleets. Because when people apply to they want to roam and fight and have fun. Because there is always that off chance we will run into another roaming gang and have a good fight.
I don't give two shits what the Minmatar think. They can tell everyone I run away. They can think we are not trying to grow our corp. They can think we are scared to fight them. They can talk shit all they want. The simple fact is when we had even numbers we dominated the Minmatar fight after fight.
To the best of my knowledge I am the only US TZ Amarr FC left that runs even semi open fleets. There is just no one left. There is no back up I can call. There are no other corps or FC's I can ask for back up. When you see me and my fleet out and about that is it. That's everything I can get. Every single person I can beg, borrow, or steal to toss in a ship.
I may be a shit FC. I may welp my fleets almost every time I try to pick a fight in Kourm these days. I may end up burning out completely and spend all my time mining. I just want to have fun. I just want the pilots who risk their ships with me almost every night to enjoy the game. That is why I bother.


  1. So what, in your opinion, is the solution to the numbers discrepency?

    1. TBH Hans I can't think of much that CCP can do at this point to get people excited to join Amarr. At least nothing that would be remotely fair and not break the sandbox.

      The buzz around FW is already fading. The winter expansion may rekindle it some but it won't be like inferno. CCP is limited in what they can do to balance the numbers. Perhaps removing any Faction items from non FW stores could have an effect. Adjust how much LP the losing side makes and other just isk incentives. Unfortunately that will draw in mostly farmers not pvp pilots.

      Shalee had a great idea about roaming NPC fleets of different difficulty levels. That would at least spread people around the war zone and smaller groups of pilots could get more pvp action. Even that does not fix the numbers imbalance but give a smaller force a chance to find the enemy away from their home bases.

      Sure we could see a large influx of people looking for pvp but those tend not to last. Fweddit, pizza, MT, and others have all came and left Amarr.

    2. Cool, cool. I was just making sure I there weren't any ideas / solutions that hadn't been brought up yet or if this post was more of a vent of frustration over a situation that can't be helped in the meantime.

      Sure, CCP will certainly fix a lot of this stuff - the payout issues, plexing mechanics that limit the PvP appeal for Faction Warfare and keep groups interested in PvP from signing up, and changes to the WZC mechanics that will force a militia to actively defend and pursue space everywhere instead of holding vulnerable system hostage.

      The "fading buzz" is entirely predictable and will certainly fade more before Winter comes around. The difference between winter and Inferno, is that winter is fixing the core issues that have broken FW for year - the horrible anti-PvP plexing mechanics. Groups like Fweddit, MT, etc left because they were isk-starved, not isk-greedy. I think you'll see them stick around in the warzone where they get the most targets as long as there is abundant pew and enough funds to keep it going.

      Inferno was much more surface-level in comparison. It kept the rotten core appeal intact and threw money at people to come do it, which only invited farmers and not warriors. I can't wait for the 2nd half of the work to finally be complete.

    3. I actually have one change I would like to see.... or better put a non-change. Medium plexes need to stay t1 cruiser hull and below. The winter expansion offers some awesome changes for lower-sp and smaller-walleted pilots in the form of the revamped cruisers. At last, medium plex fights (the lack of opponents aside) could see some better engagements. Mallers that are anything other than bait, omens and stabbers of the non-navy variety being effective, ewar that is not restricted to ecm, and most exciting to me: t1 logi.

      The medium plex as it stands now provides a home for these types of ships to engage on a playing field where they are uniquely effective and desireable. But that will be taken away with current plans to allow t2 cruisers (and maybe t3?) into these plexes. Now, instead of giving new players a fighting chance to risk 30-40m isk to learn something about tactical engagements with more than just pure firepower brawls, they will be dominated (again, if even fought over at all) by whoever is willing to bring the t2 logi supported ahac gang, or even t3 gang. Now suddenly, instead of low barrier of entry, we're looking at ships requiring months and months of training, and hundreds of millions of isk. And we already had a place for that in the form of major plexes. And believe me, if fighting over plexes becomes important and meaningful ever again, that is what will happen. HAC gangs have already proven themselves effective in almost any environment, from nullsec brawls, to gate camps, to major FW plexes. They do not need another stomping ground. These shiney new cruisers do, ever so desperately. Where else would I willingly want an augoror or osprey pilot if I could have a guardian or basilisk instead? Why don't you have a zealot yet, omen pilot?

      The best part of my FW experience has been in medium plexes, and FW is all I've ever known, I joined within a month or so of starting to play EVE for the first time and have never left. Sure, the gate camps, cap fights, and thrasher brawls have all been there (rarer and rarer, but there nonetheless), but the most fun has been in those damn medium plexes. Somehow it's a happy medium (no pun intended) ... Don't let them take those away!

  2. Just go roam into other lowsec and nullsec regions. If the Minnies aren't giving you what you want, then go elsewhere. The only reason most people don't do it is because they're lazy.

    1. Amarr/Min lowsec is pretty far from the Caldari/Gal side TBH to do a down and back roam, it also doesn't have an abundance of pirates. The only close nullsec that you can go roam into is Provi, which is always 1-2 kills before you get reported in intel and then an unfightable blob forms up and attempts to camp you in using jump bridges. After being on the cal/gal side for a bit I can safely say they're much different warzones. Many of us tried moving to cal/gal since we were tired of the Minmatar warzone, but ran into a unique set of problems that I don't think anyone really anticipated, one reason being that the cal/gal warzone operates on a much tighter "do we have enough to handle this" threshold, which isn't conducive to low-SP fweddit t1-gun fit Fweddit, which generally needs to fight with a few numbers to break even. Not that i'm trying to play the upship/blob blame game here since everyone does it, just staying my observations.

      "Sure, CCP will certainly fix a lot of this stuff - the payout issues, plexing mechanics that limit the PvP appeal for Faction Warfare and keep groups interested in PvP from signing up, and changes to the WZC mechanics that will force a militia to actively defend and pursue space everywhere instead of holding vulnerable system hostage."

      Taking away the infinite system vulnerability and giving rewards for defensive plexing hurts the underdog more than it helps.

      You're also forgetting the part where it begins to feel artificial and stale when you fight the same 10-15 dudes each night. Its probably much different for the Minmatar because new groups continue to join Amarr for the fights(although the number of groups doing this is declining rapidly), only to leave for the exact same reasons, ie: pizza left becuase noone would fight them after a while, FATE heavily supplemented their pvp fix with fights outside of FW. I don't think the winter FW changes will really attract any new players, which is extremely unfortunate.

      Long term, i'd be extremely suprised if any of the new groups outside of fweddit stay with FW. The lack of numbers and influx of fresh people to fight is one of the main reasons many of us didn't like FW before inferno, and the closer it reapproaches that, the harder it will spiral.

      I'm not saying that the Minmatar/Gallente aren't worth opponents, what i'm saying is that the inability to attract new players in meaningful numbers will more or less be the death knell of any hope of FW being any different than it was pre-Inferno in terms of activity. You saw the same thing happen with highsec when all the war dec groups had fought each other 4-5 times and learned enough about each other that each war would result in maybe 1-3 kills total for the entire war.

  3. The answer Hans is pretty straightforward. Roll out the new LP pay structure as quickly as CCP can as an emergency release. Do it quickly and do it in the middle of the night with no advance notice.


  4. As you know Hans, the winter changes, with lp for defensive plexing, will just reinforce the lead minmatar now have.

    How much someone needs to fight a war depends on how much their enemy has to fight a war. You don't just ask that question in a vacuum and pull a number out of the air. Winter will just make it so the amarr will permanently have less than the minmatar.

    Even without lp for dplexing minmatar has lots of carebears who defensive plex systems when no amarr are around. Rewarding this activity is just the final nail.

    If you want more pvp activity from the underdog through out the warzone, then have ccp stop doing what prevented us from roaming the whole war zone to begin with. End station lockouts.


    1. I gotta say I agree here. I was against station lockouts at the outset because I didn't think it was a neccessary restriction to place on lowsec pvp, and felt very shoehorned in. It's been terrible from the start from a logical perspective: I can't dock in enemy lowsec, but I can hop into their hisec, ignore their pathetic navy, and dock there... wait, what? If I'm fighting a war with pirates, or fighting any non-fw entity, I am now at an extremely distinct disadvantage against them too, not even just the enemy militia, as no such arbitrary restriction has been placed on them. Non-FW aligned stations mysteriously hate me in enemy systems irregardless of standing, and love me in the next system over? I can sort of get the idea of occupying an enemy faction's station as a war trophy, but the rest makes no sense. All this is just dumb.

      With time I grew accustomed to this, and with the (exceedingly few) meaningful system defenses, assaults, and flips (pretty much just... kourm/kam)it added a somewhat fun logistical game, and some sense of meaning. But that feeling is fading fast now too.

      TL;DR, I hated it, then I was ok with it, and now I think I agree with Cearain, I think that though we overlook it as a normal bit of FW now, this very well may have been one of the death blows to meaningful FW pvp.

  5. Your blog hit it spot on, Almity. You are all great pilots and you are a great FC but FW sucks now. I don't miss it at all.


  6. I think part of the problem the Amarr Militia has is there isn't much to get from the LP store that people want without a larger investment. Omen navy's have there place but given the choice you would probably choose a Fleet Stabber, the slicer is decent too. Only problem is the Amarr ships are sumwhat limited on fitting options. So they simply just don't sell as well. The minmatar and Caldari unfortunately offer the most atractive things to buy. Unless something changes with that I'm afraid the amarr will always be on the short end of the stick with atracting new members.

    -Dagren Darius

  7. The Amarr militia just flipped Kourmonen. It was difficult, and Late Night Alliance and Iron Oxide certainly have a horrible tendency of forming up too heavy, but the fights get more interesting as they become more desperate. Let's focus on keeping Kourmonen in Amarr hands and we can change the landscape of factional warfare.