EVE: Didn’t want that faction ship anyway

I interrupt the fail-cascade reporting (they haven’t said/done anything embarrassing today, have they?) to talk about an MMO, PvP, and expectations.

Last night was INQ-E’s second PvP roam night, and again we had a good turnout. We started off once again in a nearby low-sec system, hoping to catch someone coming or going at the gate. This system is home to, as far as we can tell, a French Industrial Corp/Alliance, and they love to light Cyno fields and push Jump Freighters through em. We, on the other hand, love blowing up those cyno ships and scheming of a way to actually kill a Freighter (bittervets feel free to offer hints here).

Our first kill of the night was pretty spectacular. Oh, the target was just a cyno frig, but that’s not the good part. No no. The ‘good’ part is that our fearless, bloodthirsty pirate Dex, flying his newly purchased Faction Frig, got popped by the station guns after killing the T1 frig. Nothing like starting your night off on a laugh. Plus we needed him in a Battlecruiser anyway :)

Not long after, another cyno was lit, but this time a Carrier jumped in. Initially everyone wanted to run away, but what fun would that be? We started shooting at it with the ships we had (3-4 T1 battlecruisers, one cruiser), and were hoping the other guy would fight back. After a few volleys however, he docked into the station. Moral victory IMO. Our small gang chased away a Carrier.

We then went looking into other systems, either to jump into a gate camp or camp one ourselves. While we saw a few pilots flying about, nothing ever materialized. On gates we knew we were being watched we did not sit around long enough to let the enemy counter our fleet, and when we ran into other combat ships, they fled.

In our fleet we had a player fairly new to EVE (still on his trial), and it was interesting to listen to how he viewed low-sec and EVE PvP. It sounded like he expected low-sec dwellers to not only be eager to PvP, but waiting for it. He made a comment that for a PvP area, it sure seemed like the people there did not want to PvP.

I could only help but compare this to what must be the only MMO PvP experience many have, which is battlegrounds. In battlegrounds of course everyone there is queued up and looking only for one thing, to bash themselves against the other side in epic PvP combat. The numbers always line up, the levels are balanced, the action is impossible to miss, and the end-result is known in 15-20 minutes.

Low-sec, and EVE PvP, is of course nothing like this. The actual act of combat is almost an afterthought, and it’s the fleet makeup, scouting, and all the other pre-fight factors that really matter. As has been said countless times, if you find yourself in an even fight, someone screwed up.

The other thing to consider is that you can’t have the highs that one experiences in EVE if they are made available on-demand. A memorable fight is, in part, memorable because of its rarity. If you could queue up to have a Titans vs Titans fleet fight, killing a Titan would feel pretty meh after the second day.

And even on less-eventful nights, there are still things to take away from them and learn from. For instance, was there a way to keep that Carrier from docking? Is there a way for us to catch those Jump Freighters? What tactics can we use to trick a gate camp into engaging us? If the areas we are roaming in are slow, are their other locations we should be flying to?

Oh and we have another war-dec for the weekend. People can’t get enough of us!

23 Responses to EVE: Didn’t want that faction ship anyway

  1. Aidan Padecain says:

    Sounds like fun! Forcing a carrier into a station with a bunch of battlecruisers sounds like much more fun than having a bunch of carriers drop on your battlecruiser (happened recently to a friend).

  2. Quelldrogo says:

    You can prevent a ship from docking by bumping it with another ship, or preferably a bunch of ships. Just keep colliding with it to move it away from the station. Having a microwarpdrive helps.

    Damn man, I was just running a drone escalation last night. Paid out about 150mil in drops, but I would rather have been helping you guys light up some lowsec!

    Great posts last few days! \m/

  3. Raelyf says:

    As above, it’s quite possible to bump other ships off/out of range of stations, gates, etc. But jump freighters are big and heavy, your time window is limited, and good JF pilots pick stations that have large docking rings. It’s generally considered not possible unless the JF pilot screws up big time.

    As for the carriers, if it’s not looking for a fight then you’re pretty much out of luck, same as the JF. If it aggresses then you have a window to kill it – but unless you can drop several dreads on it the moment it does, or have like 50 BS, you’re not going to break it’s tank before it can dock.

    Getting gatecamps to fight is tricky. Generally, gate camps keep eyes (cloaked) on the other side of the gate so the know what’s coming, and will leave if they see you coming. You might have to keep most of the fleet an extra jump away. Sending someone(s) in as bait to get them committed can work – someone with a couple of points and webs, ideally, to keep them there when they see the trap. Also, someone who won’t die before you make it. It’s always risky. A couple secondary tacklers can be brought closer to the camp than the main fleet sometimes without scaring the camp off to help get points and keep allies alive while the fleet is en route.

  4. Werit says:

    Hopefully this war has some fighting! I need war stories.

  5. Devore says:

    The system you guys hit yesterday has been very sleepy for weeks. No one goes there unless they have business, no one’s looking for a fight, although I did get my Omen smooshed there by some guy in a command ship with 3 years of SP on me, kind of a one-sided fight. So you’ll catch a few people unawares at first, and then they’ll go sit in a station or log.

  6. mbp says:

    Good post Syncaine. I jokingly poked fun at you for “hiding under your beds” during your last war but as you point out combat in EVE is much more complex than just aim for the nearest ship and start shooting. Sometimes not shooting is the way to win a battle.

    I have another question though. Is the waiting around and preparing still “fun” or is it just that the payoff when it all comes together and you finally score a big win is so gratifying that all the waiting around is worth it?

    • SynCaine says:

      I enjoy the pre-fight stuff personally, to an extend. So long as you come away from the event better off, be it ISK, knowledge, or fun, I’m happy.

      If we were to just continue bashing our head against the wall (flying the same ships into the same systems, not getting kills, and expecting something different week after week), my personal enjoyment would drop, and I’m sure I would not be alone.

      Thankfully, since I’m the boss, I can ensure that does not happen.

      (That said sitting at a gate itself, when nothing jumps through for extended periods of time, is not fun. But yea, at that point hopefully its the investment you make for a payoff that justifies it. If the investment is not worth the payoff, ‘you are doing it wrong’)

  7. Sand says:

    actually, i’ve always disliked battlegrounds. back when wow didn’t suck balls i used to play on a pvp server. sure, it meant that sometimes i got corpse camped, but it also meant that i could wander around any level-appropriate zone and find people who wanted to fight.

    same deal with most other mmo’s i’ve tried.

    i figured it was pretty reasonable to assume that people who choose to live in a zone where there are no NPC cops that gank aggressors do so because they want to get into fights on a regular basis.

    perhaps my mistake was in thinking of low-sec and null-sec as ‘pvp zones’ whereas instead i should have been thinking of them as not ‘no-pvp zones’

    • Sand says:

      consider my attack on a carrier. i’m not dumb. i know no week-old pilot in a rifter is going to kill a carrier. he probably could have kicked my ass before i even had time to warp off. but he didn’t. why not?

      i jumped into a fight i knew i had no chance of winning because i wanted to fight (and i didn’t realise he could just dock while being tackled =/ )

      he ran away from a fight he knew he could win because he has heard of this ‘pvp’ of which we speak and he wanted no goddamn part of it. and that makes me sad. we should move to null-sec. i bet we could find someone to fight there.

      • Devore says:

        Just because you’re in a “PvP zone” does not mean you want to fight, are looking for a fight, are ready for a fight, or have time for a fight, even if you expect a fight to break out at any time :) The time spent fighting you is time for your allies to arrive on scene, baiting is a perfectly viable strategy. Avoiding a fight is as much a PvP decision as fighting. Stealth/ninja mining, ratting, salvaging, all happens in low and null-sec, but these people will run away because they know chances are stacked against them if someone gets the jump on them. No one starts a fair fight in EVE, right?

        Now, why would one have a carrier if not for PvP? I don’t believe carriers are used in incursions. I’ve seen carriers in those systems before, on scan and even hanging out in front of a station, I don’t know what people bring them there for. Apparently not PvP. But I’m an EVE noob, I’ve been known to be wrong.

        • Miss Lina says:

          “Now, why would one have a carrier if not for PvP?”

          For logistics. I you see a solo carrier in low-sec at a station, chances are he’s just passing through either transporting stuff or travelling somewhere. Carriers are good for transporting ships especially (like rigged BS for ex.) A lot of carrier pilots are not really combat ready and just use them for moving stuff.

          Also if you are solo in a carrier, without backup, it’s always risky to engage anything, even a frigate, because you are a juicy target and could end up with a fleet of capitals dropped on you in a matter of seconds.

          My main was in a pirate corp for a long time, and we have destroyed such capitals who’s pilots unwittingly aggressed on a station on several occassions. It’s not something that happens every day because it takes quite a bit of coordination to set up, but it is perfectly doable, and it happens.

      • Anonymous says:

        Also, if he fought back, he wouldnt be able to dock for 60 seconds. Sure, a carrier can tank dozens of ships for 60 seconds, but if that rifter lights a cyno…

  8. coppertopper says:

    As a non-Eve player, the gate camping thing sounds too much like spawn camping, which is the lamest form of PvP. And just about every other Eve pvp story I’ve heard sounds like zerging. So as a pvp game Eve has about as much interest to me as playing an online RTS where your choices from the start are ‘play as the underdog’ or ‘play on the side of overwhelming numbers’.

    • Dex says:

      …I was going to reply to this last comment, but I couldn’t figure out how to word it without sounding like a prick. So I’ll just say that I disagree with your Opinion, but you’re certainly entitled to have it. Also, SynCaine Cares (Ass Möde)

      • coppertopper says:

        Maybe I should have phrased my comment in the form of a question, because I really wasn’t trolling. How is ‘gate camping’ any different then say camping at a zone-in line in a fantasy MMO on a PvP server? And why are there gates at all except to control player actions and general current technical limitations (my best guess). I appreciate eve on many levels, but pvp is the exception as a nightly activity since it consumes so many man hrs of pve activity. I’ll get my pvp thrills anywhere but where mutliple accounts or large guilds are necessary.

        • Raelyf says:

          Corpse camping is exploiting a broken game system, and the victims are genuinely helpless to do anything about it. It’s shitty, it’s not fun and it offers next to nothing to game play.

          Gate camping is like bandits holding a mountain pass along a trade route. You can take another route, you can take an escort, you can take a scout or you can just take a light cargo and a very fast horse. You have options, and dealing with that sort of player generated challenge adds fun, variety and excitement for a lot of people. It also has a number of resonating effects, like area denial, resource blockading, etc.

          Pvp in EVE doesn’t require alts or large guilds – I do it solo frequently, casually (30min-1hr blocks of time) and effectively. It’s far from impossible.

  9. Noble Noob says:

    “He made a comment that for a PvP area, it sure seemed like the people there did not want to PvP.

    I could only help but compare this to what must be the only MMO PvP experience many have, which is battlegrounds”

    1. BG’s are limited areas to fight in and limited range of characters. What would happen if you are in a level 10 BG fighting and the enemy suddenly comes in with a level 80 AOE caster? How many of the low level players would be jumping in the fight?

    In Eve there is no limit on area or how powerful a player/ship can be to join. When that solo frigate, you are itching to kill, could suddenly drop 10 carriers on your butt it makes you think before acting.

    2. In BG’s when you die you respawn and go pick up all your shiny stuff. You don’t lose that OP set of shiny armor you spent three weeks grinding to get. And your enemy does not get the opportunity to loot some of it from you.

    In Eve you get blown up and that shiny that you spent three weeks grinding for is gone for ever. And your enemy has a chance of looting some of the super shiny trinkets that were on it.

    3. @coppertopper – to begin with there are no sides, where you can say they are the bigger so lets join them. The sides, the battles, and the entire war changes constantly. You pick a side and then try to manipulate the circumstances to your favor.

    Anyone who tries to say all other games do not try to zerg or manipulate the circumstances to their favor is not acknowledging reality.

    4. In other games you have the same cycle of getting a group together, setting up a position or roaming, attacking those who are perceived as weaker, and having long times of quiet with small times of intense fighting.

    The difference is that in Eve, because of the lack of predesignated limitations and the harsher “death penalty”, the before fight part can be longer and more complex.

    5. Non – Eve players get a warped sense of battle due to the “whines” and “spin doctoring” that goes on in and around Eve.

    If you watch the really good groups, you will see a lot of tactical aspects. Even the “zergs” are a tactical move many times in which one side tricks the other to over-committing by hiding their true force.

    Short version, people in pvp areas do want to pvp for the most part. But because of the way Eve is, there are a hundred times more things to consider before committing to a fight.

    And no one likes to lose, especially when it costs a lot.

    If you want players to engage you in pvp, show them what they want to see —- a chance to win.

  10. bhagpuss says:

    Bit late on the comment but for what its worth…

    I was playing DAOC when Battlegrounds were introduced there. That was within a few months of launch. As I recall, BGs were added because of the volubly-expressed frustration of a significant number of players about the difficulty of finding PvP in a supposedly PvP-focused MMO.

    I know that I was bored to tears many evenings running around the frontiers or waiting at a gate hoping for someone, anyone to turn up and fight. I never found the build-up entertaining or amusing or even involving. Just long-winded and dull. By the time a fight did start, if indeed it ever did, I was usually too irritable and enervated to enjoy it.

    I was pleased to see Battlegrounds added. It was the first time I’d seen them and for all I know DAOC BGs were the origin of the now-standard form. I had a lot of fun in BGs for a while but all too soon we had the cross-realm co-operative faction farming (or whatever the reward there was – I forget and can’t be bothered to wiki it). When that got stopped we ended up with highly static Battlegrounds, where two sides would hide in their keeps while the strongest one roamed around trying to tempt them out.

    After an hour of that I generally gave up and logged, in a bad mood.

    Modern battlegrounds are sterile, meaningless affairs but at least fighting reliably happens. Whether that’s an improvement I’m not sure. I still tend to log out in a bad mood, albeit for different reasons. I tend to think that anything that relies on other people to be where you want them to be when you want them to be there doing what you want them to do will always be more likely to disappoint than not.

  11. Gesh says:

    Hey, sorry, but I didn’t know where to post this. Here is some fuel for your next trolling session -> http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/01/22/mit-developing-educational-mmo-funded-by-gates-foundation/

    In short, Gates foundation will grant 3 mln to MIT to make an educational MMO. SWTOR needed between 200 and 400, but apparently things can be made with only 3.

  12. steve says:

    I think Noble Noob hit the nail on the head about what makes Eve PVP soo special. In Eve more powerful ships roughly equate to more effort obtaining them. When they go pop, there is a real sense of loss. You have to go through all the effort of getting another. This makes the lead up to fights much more interesting since you are weighing relative risks of fun, potential gains, and potential losses. Few people in Eve want a fair fight. They want to win and loot. It’s not simply a matter of a few moments bragging rights like in most mmos.

    That carrier probably didn’t aggress because looting a few t1 frigates was not remotely worth the possibility of being hot dropped. Now if it had been a t3 cruiser or two with some real isk in them the story might have been different.

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