EVE: ‘Winning’

‘Winning’ in EVE means different things to different people.

For null-sec leaders, controlling the most territory or fielding the most dominant fleet means everything. Having the right resources, far beyond simply having ISK, is critical. Quality FCs are held is high regard, and meta-gaming is as important, if not more so, than actual in-game skill. In this field, the CFC is ‘winning’.

In WH space, ‘winning’ means something different. Controlling territory is bound to one system (generally), yet how you control it is far more critical. While in null enemies will often venture in and be dealt with (or not), in a WH someone being inside is already much of the battle. Supplies, allies, resources, travel; all of these things are much different for a WH Corp/Alliance than for someone in null, and the skillset needed is different. In this field, AHARM is ‘winning’.

Empire also has its fair share of ‘winning’ goals. For war-dec’ing Corps kill efficiency, disruption, and reputation count. For PvE-based groups, speed, efficiency, and running Incursions/missions ‘correctly’ are what counts. And for market barons, controlling sections of the economy count.

And sometimes worlds collide. Occasionally null-sec pilots will venture into WH space and fighting will ensue. As the rules are different, the number of super-caps is a non-factor, and how many people you can get to the fight is just as important as what they do during that fight. Sometimes a null-sec group like the goons will get into market baron territory with something like the Ice Interdiction or the Tech Cartel, and in those situations again the rules change.

What’s important to remember is that since the end-goal is different, the methods used to reach it also vary. That’s really the beauty of the sandbox. Some pilots consider taking territory winning, while others view it as blobbing and a mind-numbing structure grind. The up and down flow of WH life is exciting for some, account-killing for others. And for this into ISK, the methods to generate it are all that matters.

Interesting content happens when those factions intersect, or use each other to further their goals. Bit different than the standard motivation and mentality in a themepark, eh?

(Not that this makes themeparks less ‘fun’, or EVE more ‘fun’, but arguing ‘fun’ generally makes for boring blog content.)

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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18 Responses to EVE: ‘Winning’

  1. Antivyris says:

    I’ve always felt that, in EVE, winning is the same as any other sandbox.

    When you finally get so engrossed that you aren’t even thinking of winning/losing the game, congrats, you’ve won the sandbox and now have the tools to keep winning!

    At least, that’s always been my view, it’s why I win eve by shooting rocks.

  2. Hong WeiLoh says:

    Despite the Bartle-typing of MMO gamers and all… really in a “sandbox” it all boils down to two things: those who make sandcastles, and those who either destroy them (or invent sandblasting equipment to scour the faces off the kids making sandcastles).
    Inevitably, the interactions and conflict between those two groups makes for lacrimonious, yet essentially repetitive “content”, until one group or the other is so “nerfed” as to be effectively forced from the game.

    In most games, the “sandblasters” are called “griefers” and effectively nerfed from the game.
    In EVE Online, the “sandblasters” are called “ebil PvPers” and will eventually be effectively nerfed from the game. ;-)

    • Rammstein says:

      Are the CFC builders or destroyers of sandcastles? How about station traders? What about wormhole dwellers who spend most of their time killing other wormhole denizens?

      Your argument is first-order true, but you’ve simplified so much as to make your conclusions irrelevant to me. The difference between a good sandbox game (good meaning specifically one that doesn’t quickly become boring, for me), and a bad sandbox game, is that while both fundamentally are as you describe, the good sandbox game allows for more higher-order complexity and emergent behavior. In this case, we could specifically describe the higher-order complexity as inherent rewards for being both a builder and a destroyer, and careful attention paid to the balancing so that semistable equilibriums can be reached through effort.

      The mark of the success of CCP in this balancing, is that the best counterexamples to your builders/destroyers dichotomy are the groups currently “winning” eve. (i.e., the CFC are the most famous/active builders, and also the most famous destroyers)

      • kalex716 says:

        Exactly… One of the more interesting things in EVE you’ll see is when a highly successful group of PVP’ers (destroyers) band up together and perform a wicked war party. They’ll slaughter tons more in isk/loss ratio, dominate a scene for a while, but they often lack the deeper motivations and political infrastructure (cause they just love to fight too much and are usually not the best at social adaptations, planning, and “building”) so they eventually fizzle out to internal contentions once the slaughter stagnates.

      • Hong WeiLoh says:

        Yes, you’re right. The CFC does in fact strongly resemble Team Murrica World Po-Pos, well, it would, if EVE weren’t Real. ;-)

        I’m actually one of those builder-destroyers — building some of my own ships and all of my own ammo with which to go forth and destroy, as well as get destroyed.

        Besides, what world do you live in? People hate “high-order complexity” and things like “gray areas”. “Black and white” and “it either is or it isn’t,” are the key mentalities of the day.
        High-order complexity is sooooo 1960s. ;-)

        • Rammstein says:

          Yes, the majority of people do hate complexity. I’m not sure how that is relevant to my post, however. “good sandbox game” = aimed at the minority, “farmville” = aimed at the majority, I thought that was part of our common assumptions.

  3. Since ‘winning’ is subjective in EvE, is it possible to have the ‘wrong goals’?

    • SynCaine says:

      I’d define it as anything that makes you quit the game is the ‘wrong’ goal.

      The solo miner, for instance, can only ‘progress’ until he can fly a perfect yield Hulk. If he does not set more goals, he is likely to quit because he is ‘done’. The issue is not mining itself (not here anyway), but how it was approached.

  4. Caramael says:

    We all know this “interesting content” you speak of, is just one player having fun destroying the other player’s fun ;)
    Anyway, if all winning conditions and rules are arbitrary, then what’s the point? Could this be the reason why so many people think EVE is boring?

    • Rammstein says:

      Claim: Arbitrary winning conditions and rules are pointless.

      Corollary: To give your life meaning, you require an outside entity to set your conditions and rules.

      Solution: Become my slave, I will work you until you die from overwork, we will both be happy with the situation.

      • Shadow says:

        The south in the United States during the times of slavery did tend to insist that the people they owned were happier and better off being property than the would be as freemen…

      • Caramael says:

        I’m not claiming anything, I’m asking. And why the hell do you bring up slavery when discussing a game?

        • Rammstein says:

          Why do you bring up hell when discussing existentialism?

          Asking what the point is presupposes that there should be a point. I m not responding to your question, I m responding to your presupposition. Perhaps this was unclear.

        • Caramael says:

          So there’s no point? And you consider games which do have a point, to simulate slavery? Is that how I should interpret your replies?

        • Rammstein says:

          Do you think real life has a point? Do you consider relying on third parties to decide on what that point should be for you to be simulating slavery? Is that how I should interpret your replies?

        • Caramael says:

          We’re talking about a videogame here, right?

  5. Rambling Redshirt says:

    One thing I’ve noticed in my time in Eve null sec is that there is much more to ‘winning’ than the blobbing that carebears always think dominates. Dominating fleets, good FCs, and lotsa territory are key ingredients for a successful alliance like the CFC, but the critical factor I think revolves around the ‘Good Fight’. Sure the large null sec alliances can field supers and dominate many engagements, but I think it is the smaller fleet battles that keep players invested in the alliance and the game. Blob fights only occur once in a while – not enough to generate ‘content’ to keep people playing. The smaller fleets that are run daily or weekly are what keep the big alliances going. This is why you see things like Test’s fighting in Delve – you have to keep the thousands of rank-and-file interested or they go off to play Diablo or Tera.

    Keeping players involved is how I see alliances in null sec ‘winning’.

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