EVE: Little roam, big impact

That 45man PvP roam I posted the video of yesterday was a great time. I went into it not knowing what to expect, who would show up, or whether we would see any action, and ended up having a blast, despite being one of the first ships to die in the second engagement and having to listen to most of it play out.

About the roam itself: it was well organized, started on time, and the organizers had done their homework in terms of where to go to find action, who and how we should engage, and most importantly, how to keep the whole thing fun while still effective. I think this comes through on the coms somewhat, but it’s worth driving the point home that the whole experience was very enjoyable and fairly ‘noob friendly’ in terms of just showing up and following orders. Would do again.

At a higher level, the roam highlights not only what makes EVE such a great game, but why MMOs are in many ways the superior way to game.

I learned about the roam outside of the game (I want to say off a blog… can’t remember), was able to get myself ready easily (cheap cruiser), let my Corp know about the event and let them know it was open to everyone, and finally had little trouble joining up and pew pew’ing.

The above may sound simple or obvious in the context of EVE, but apply to a more ‘standard’ themepark.

First, you can’t join up if the event is not happening on your server; this is of course a non-issue in EVE.

Second, you can’t join up if you are not in the correct level range; non-issue in EVE.

Third, if you do select a level range, the amount of content you can work with is level-limited. You can’t do an open raid tour if you are not level capped. You can’t do an intro-area quest tour with character outside of that range. You can’t do a ‘frig-cruiser’-style PvP arena bash if the game does not allow lvl 10s to queue up. And if it does, 45 lvl 10s can’t queue up to face 5 lvl 85s no matter how much they would want.

Fourth, even if all of the above lines up for you, what are the odds it also lines up for all of your friends? If you are in a raiding guild, only max-level options work for you. If you are in a leveling guild, max-level content is out. And forget doing anything with friends on different servers, that’s going to cost you $25 or so per trip.

Fifth, let’s assume all of the above does line up; now what? In most ‘MMOs’ you take your group and go bash NPCs (often in an instance), and those NPCs won’t end up telling stories about it or being equally entertained by your event. They just die and respawn. Which is fine, it’s certainly not a negative, but it’s not a positive either. Your event has limited impact, triggers limited waves beyond whoever was directly involved.

Sixth is all the EVE-specific stuff that adds to the fun. We had a spy in our initial fleet, who comically screwed up his spying and put his status update in our chat channel instead of the one used by whoever was trying to set us up. We also encountered n RvB fleet, which is a known in-game mega-Corp/faction that is playing its own little game (literally Red vs Blue PvP in high-sec). EVE-voice was a huge help and worked great. The international aspect of EVE was a factor. I could go on.

Point being, this is a small but significant example of why a real MMO, one that is focused not on providing players content, but on providing players the ability to CREATE content, is superior. And it’s superior not for that one event, or that one bite of content, but because long-term, for months/years, the game (by way of its players) continues to provide this kind of dynamic, impactful content. The kind of stuff you never really ‘burn out’ on.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in EVE Online, Inquisition Clan, MMO design, PvP. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to EVE: Little roam, big impact

  1. Zirce says:

    The target calling in that fleet could be better. Not trying to rain on your parade or anything, just thought you should know.

    I mean, I get calling the devoter on isk value but calling the prophs and mallers first isn’t a great idea when there is lower ehp and higher damage ships in range. It all seemed to work out for you though/


    • SynCaine says:

      The more I play, the more I’m realizing that being a good FC in EVE is likely the most difficult thing in MMO gaming. I can see why good ones are so highly valued in major alliances.

      • Morg says:

        Help keep your FC..FCing.
        Show up in the proper ship
        Be good on coms
        Say thank you

      • Zirce says:

        There’s a reason why people like Boat are tolerated as FCs. I don’t know of any other activity that requires so much multitasking.

        An FC in a large fleet engagement has to keep track of, or at least delegate and keep tabs on the following:

        Probing and Warp-ins (and warp-in ranges)
        Primaries and secondary target calling
        -Engagement range
        -Target Priority
        -Grid awareness (wreck locations, warp distances)
        Reinforcement coordination
        Aggression awareness
        Dynamic strategy awareness

        On top of that the FC will be in jabber/skype with other allied fleet FCs as well as two different mumble/TS channels to coordinate everything.

        It takes an iron will and a really sharp mind to FC at an alliance level.

      • Serpentine Logic says:

        Many, many alliances pay for the subscriptions of their FCs. Some even go so far as to arrange to pay for their RL living costs.

  2. ShadowMaster says:

    As the FC for the RvB fleet, thanks for coming out and killing us! Was a good time and I do hope to meet you in space again.

    On the topic of your post, you make some very good points. Ones that I have always agreed with.

    Things like RvB would be so much harder to make work in a sharded world. We work because we target a small niche player group which would be even smaller, possibly to small to work, in sharded environments. If a server did get it working though all the other servers would be left out. No one but those on the server that got it working would experience it.

    One of the things I don’t think your really talked enough about is the experiences that are generated in a single server environment like EVE and the community that builds. The chances that I would have been on the same server as you and read this blog are minimal, but because it is one server we get to share the same experiences. In WoW when a guild is the first to beat a new raid that just came out that news rarely makes, well news because every other server is having the same thing happen.

    Again, good blog post and your points are all very good and true.


    p.s. I think RvB wants a round two versus your fleet. :P

    • SynCaine says:

      Not really ‘my’ fleet, but talk/coordinate something with Sir Livingston. A massive frig vs frig brawl, or cruisers vs cruisers would be fun. I’d show up for sure, as would a good chunk of INQ.

  3. Jaggins says:

    I’m burnt out on PVE/ ISK- making in EVE. If you don’t enjoy industry, farming anoms or belt ratting is mind numbing. I agree, though, that the fleet PVP is superb!

    Congrats on an enjoyable roam.

  4. Mbp says:

    Noob question. What happens if the enemy kill your fc? Can they hang around and give directions from a pod or does someone else step in and take over? It must be a major blow in any case so I assume fcs are a priority target if you can find them.

    • Sand says:

      yeah, until someone kills his pod. known FCs are generally primary for just this reason. a lot of FCs do their FC-ing from a cloaked covops to avoid the issue altogether. others designate a backup FC.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cool to hear EVE voice is working. Last time I visited EVE it was a terrible mess.

  6. Gevlon says:

    I’m sorry for being so oblivious but after watching the video and reading the post I still have no clue what the hell happened. I saw ships shooting other ships that’s all. What was the purpose of the battles? Did you go for some loot, grabbed territory or defeated an enemy who threatened you some way? What was it all about?

    • SynCaine says:

      These alien concepts called ‘fun’ and ‘socializing’.

      It’s what MMO players like to do.

      (And did you watch the video without sound? The organizer directly stated the purpose of the roam)

    • Hong WeiLoh says:

      Some people see a pot and have to give it a stir. ;-)
      This applies equally to your comment and the lowsec/NPC null environment.

      If you want battles over “territory”, join FW [lol] or a sov null coalition.

      I guess you could call these sorts of battles “sparring matches”. Doesn’t really mean anything in the “bigger game picture” overall, but you keep your claws sharp and hone your skills. :-)

  7. n0th says:

    It was obviously about having fun by means of shooting other people in spaceships.

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