Loss Teaches Us the Worth of Things

“The pleasure in this world, it has been said, outweighs the pain; or, at any rate, there is an even balance between the two. If the reader wishes to see shortly whether this statement is true, let him compare the respective feelings of two animals, one of which is engaged in eating the other.” – Schopenhauer, Studies in Pessimism

The wolf eats the deer. The wolf is sated and, for a while, suffers no sensation of hunger. The deer is destroyed utterly, and suffers pain and terror in the process. This is not a zero-sum game. The pleasure in the moment is vastly outweighed by the pain.

Any experienced player in Eve will recognise the parallels in the game, Continue reading

Crazy Ivan – Russians Spying on Their Own Members

I don’t want to play into cliched preconceptions about the Wild East but Russians – and their “near abroad” – do seem to play Eve a little differently from the rest of us. This week, however, the Russian Eve forums are aflame with accusations over black-hat hacking of alliance members by its own leadership.

I’ve been director of the Goonfleet Intelligence Agency for almost four years, so I’m reasonably-well-placed to talk about this subject. Amongst Euro-Americans, the intel conflict is played out within certain bounds. Whether it is the GIA or N3′s Jean Leaner or PL’s very effective (if slightly more devolved) spying set-up, we all play the old-fashioned Cold War-era spying game. We attempt to insert agents into each other’s blocs and alliances. Continue reading

The Evil Behind the Thousand Megathrons

Last week, I posted about the need for Eve’s nullsec Sovereignty system to be redesigned in order to break up blocs, shrink alliances and give a chance to younger players to strike out into nullsec without the risk of being stamped upon. The key post with the vision and reasoning behind this is found here.

I also posted an example of a sovereignty system that would reward small groups who turned up to fight for their space and offer little encouragement or reward for grouping up into vast coalitions as happens now. Importantly, I showed how such a system could be created using only existing mechanics that already exist in the game: mechanics stolen from wormholes, from Factional War complexes, and from the sovereignty index system. Continue reading

Will nobody think of the newbies?

A very quick post just to address a concern that a few people raised abour yesterday’s rather controversial example of an sov system that would promote smaller groups in Eve.

What some people suggested is the idea that a mass limits system would screw over newbies, by meaning they wouldn’t be taken into the sov plex battles in the final phase of a sov war. This has been raised a lot but, as Malcanis trained me to be, I was sceptical of the “will nobody think of the newbies?” line. Continue reading

A Game of Fights: Returning PvP to Eve Sovereignty

It’s time to put my money where my mouth is.

So far in this series I have laid out the case for an Eve populated by smaller entities, in far more densely-populated sovereignty holdings which leave more space free for newcomers to nullsec. I have also described how I think this patchwork eve of smaller alliances would look. And I have suggested that the mission agents in PC nullsec stations are the most scalable method of providing an income for more people in less systems, providing enhanced player and alliance incomes while requiring PvEers to take responsibility for the defence of their sovereignty pockets.

So far so good, and I’ve been lucky enough to have overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who have read the articles and discussed them with me on themittani.com, on Reddit, in my comments section, in jabber, on the SoZ podcast, in twitter and more. But the absolutely vital next step is to demonstrate that it is possible to implement a sovereignty system that gives a fighting chance to smaller groups to defend their space if they are willing to fight; that punishes sprawl; and that makes vast renter empires unsustainable. As an added restriction, I’m going to try to describe such a system that can, overwhelmingly, use existing Eve mechanics. Continue reading

The Patchwork Eve: Money Making

So, in the last two blogs I have argued that the sovereignty system should reward those who fight for their space, and should not offer any vast advantage to forming huge blocs. And, not surprisingly, I have had plenty of feedback suggesting that while those are good ideas, they are also unachievable within any realistic game mechanics. “Congratulations, Endie, “ the thrust of this pessimistic argument goes. “You clearly have a reliable supplier of top quality hallucinogenic euphorics. Hook me up with that some of that sweet, sweet connection.”

So I shall start putting my money where my mouth is and detailing specific areas that can be altered to implement such a vision. To recap the goals, which I covered in The Most Unpopular Statement in Today’s Eve.

The Goals

- Space should be easy for even a small group of pilots to hold if they turn up to defend it
- However, dedicated attackers who manage to fight the defenders to the point that they stop turning up keep their space should be able to take it from them
- Nullsec should be able to support a greater density of pilots in a given system or constellation with easy means of money making
- Holding greater amounts of space should become exponentially harder, and ultimately unrewarding due to effort or cost Continue reading

BCA: Generous to a Fault

I just sent this broadcast out on Goonswarm jabber.

Warning: Marivauder, who joined Bat Country after stealing the contents of his previous wormhole corp’s POS, is a dirty thief. He put an alt in droneland pets BCA*, who welcomed him with open arms, and how does he repay them? He warps to a POS, finds the pos shields set to alliance access, finds their XLSMA set to alliance access, peers inside and finds an Aeon.

You or I would have discreetly informed a senior member of BCA of this ghastly oversight. But not this untrustworthy ingrate. So he popped it out, jumped it to a cyno lit by his alt, jumped that into the Aeon and made his way back to BCA to await further gifts. Plus one GSF aeon and the GIA sends its regards. Be sure to shun this wicked malfeasant.

*We kicked BCA out of Deklein for being useless, almost four years ago. Nothing much has changed, obviously.

Background

This theft took place in the last few days.  I can’t tell you the exact day because we don’t want to risk burning the spy.  But it is very recent.

To clarify, Marivauder is a member of Bat Country, and one I’ve met and drunk with.  I am not actually angry with him.  Not today, anyway.  You should totally let his alts into your alliance.

He has an agent in BCA.  That’s not unusual: Bat Country run the GIA (the Goonfleet Intelligence Agency), and have done for years, and a lot of its members have agents in hostile alliances.

That has its downsides, too: with so many senior members playing Eve Online on two sets of accounts, burnout is a bit more common than in most corps, and at any given time we have a few people who just play DotA or other bad-but-not-as-bad-as-Eve Online games on Teamspeak, but we do try to get together for roams and corp ops to keep people from missing the company of their own corp too much.

We also host spies from other alliances, such as Vince Draken, whose time as a spy here ended in jollity and with whom we like to think we’re still on good terms.  There is certainly a home for him here when this whole NCdot nonsense blows over.

This Mad Media Whirlwind

Last night, in the hour or so before I ran a fleet through Syndicate, I got dragged into the first episode of largely-Eve Online-related podcast ShitonZulu, hereafter known as SoZ for workplace firewall reasons. You can listen to it here http://shitonzulu.com/ although for some esoteric reason Doink has made it so you have to unlock the occult secret podcast by clicking on the word “Episodes” first.

The site itself is pretty work safe, containing only the title and a picture of Peter O’Toole in his role in Zulu Dawn. That, as an aside, is rather ominous as Zulu Dawn was the vastly unsuccessful sequel/prequel/follow-up to the superb Zulu, which is a film every man should see at least once in their life, and preferably once every Christmas. The second half is basically one extended battle scene full of stiff upper lips and a young Michael Caine at his best.

If you stick Jeffraider, especially sober Jeffraider, into any discussion it tends to make the mood happier while simultaneously preventing anyone taking themselves too seriously, which might otherwise have been a real problem for me given how passionate I risk getting about the need for reform in Eve. I did get to bang on about my ideas a bit, though, and people were very tolerant.

Let A Thousand Jagged Flowers Bloom

Yesterday, I kicked off this series of posts on Eve Online reform by saying that I wanted it to be harder for big groups to take away small groups’ sov, so long as the defending group is active. This is because, personally, I think that far, far smaller groups in Eve would be a good thing.

Over the next few articles, I’ll go into more detail of the rules that should guide CCP as they approach the task of fixing a very broken game. But today I want to try and sell you on my vision of a better Eve Online. What I think I should do is say just why I think Eve needs to turn back the clock on the five years of gigantism and elephantiasis that the Dominion patch inflicted upon us.
Continue reading

I've been GIA director and a senior Goonswarm leader for over five years and eminence gris of Bat Country for seven.