Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Word on The State of FW

Today's word will provide an in-depth analysis of the successes and failures of the Factional Warfare changes in the Inferno expansion. A couple weeks in, we're beginning to see some significant trends forming, and I'll be providing an analysis of several of them. I'll provide a list a pros an cons, and there will be an interview with CSM member Hans Jagerblitzen, for his personal thoughts.


Nah, fuck that...

I've been involved in a LOT of discussion about FW lately, and I'm ready to just sit back and play the game. Time to do what I can with the current landscape we've got to work with. What a concept, eh?

So, on that note I will leave you with a story I wrote last night in local with my alt for Muad 'dib.

Corax Lorn > so this one time
Corax Lorn > there was a frog
Corax Lorn > and he sat on a log
Corax Lorn > but he was like "fuck this shit, I'm tired of sitting on this log in a bog"
Corax Lorn > so he jumped off the log and swam through the bog

Corax Lorn > and came out on a road
Corax Lorn > it was a narrow dirt road through the woods
Corax Lorn > and he began to hop across

Corax Lorn > and then he got run over by a bus full of chinese tourists
Corax Lorn > the end

Muad 'dib > whats the morral
Corax Lorn > stick to your log
Corax Lorn > and also
Corax Lorn > chinese tourists are bad news


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Word on Who Blobbed Who

I have noticed an increasing trend in the rhetoric of Factional Warfare. It is a trend of accusatory language and blind convictions of your own rightness. FW has long been home to such conversations as "you guys blobbed us," "you brought battleships to fight our battlecruisers," "we brought a fair fight and you ran," or "ecm is gay." However, more and more I seem to be finding that these arguments are becoming increasingly intense, both in the terms of the convictions of the parties on either side, and their polarization on any given issue.

But these arguments are so absurdly pointless. Is it perhaps in our nature somehow to demand that our enemies follow a certain set of conduct guidelines, while at the same time being blind to our own blatant disregard of them?

I can't tell you how many times I've heard on comms about how awesome we are, and how our enemies suck, only to switch to my friendlies tab and say "well of course we won, look how much shit we brought." It seems everyone in eve is so convinced on their own awesomeness that they cannot believe their victories are due to a simple out-massing of their foes. Moreover it seems there's a feeling, when "blobbing" an enemy, that somehow it "isn't the way we normally fight" or "this fight wasn't that important." Well the guy on the other end probably doesn't agree.

Do the Minmatar blob the Amarr? Oh my, yes. Do the Amarr blob the Minmatar? You betcha, by golly. The only difference is which foot the shiny Cinderella slipper happens to be on.

Though I am loathed to go any further into this, here's an example from the other day. I joined a mixed Minmatar gang (I had really been trying to avoid them in my little corner, due to all the scrubs in fleet) just before a BC fight was going to go down in Lamaa. We jumped into them with more or less equalish numbers (for the love of god don't quote who had what at me, I really don't care), and the Amarr immediately dropped an Archon.

So we ran like little girls. Or we executed a strategic withdrawal. Whatever.

The Minmatar might see dropping an Archon on BCs it as an asshole move that ruined a good fight.

The Amarr might see it as them only doing what we have done in the past, and us cowardly running away.

You know what I see? I see that the Amarr had a trump card and used it. We didn't have one, so we left, losing a few BCs. That's all that really needs to be said about it. Eve is real, god dammit.

It's just pointless to rage about issues that will never, ever, be resolved. You'll never see one party in the "who is a bigger blobber" debate step back and listen to a rational argument. The debate is simply one of inherent intractability. Neither side will ever convince the other, and both just end up mad at each other. I've been blobbed so many times, regardless of which militia I've been in, that I can tell you, without a doubt, that each side does it. Hell, I do it.

Lately I've taken to calling myself out in local as I'm participating in anything that could be called blobbing. In another recent fight, I was sarcastically told by the other side that I should bring more next time. I heartily agreed in local. Obviously it was true, cause I had some armor damage. Can't have that, now can we.

So here's my message: to the Amarr, to the Minmatar, to the Gallente, to the Caldari, and to anyone else in eve who has found themselves having these arguments -- get off your high horse, you're a blobber too.

So kindly shut the fuck up.


Friday, June 1, 2012

The Word on LP Whores (What would you do?)

Today's Word will present a common scenario in Factional Warfare, and ask what you would do.

The scenario:

You're in one of the four militias. It's evening in your timezone, and you take out a frigate sized ship to look for some PVP and plexes.

Your objectives are to get solo fights (because you're either a boss or a loner, or both -- a boner?) and to solo-capture offensive plexes because you want lots of LP to fund your PVP addiction.

You warp into a medium plex in an enemy system and begin to run down the timer. There are two war targets in system, both docked. You can tank the rats without any difficulty. When there is one minute left on the timer, a friendly militia member who has just come into local enters your plex and immediately burns to the timer, where he will be able receive a share of the LP payout.

This has done two things. Firstly, you are no longer solo, so those super-cool 1v1s you wanted are now out the window. But there's only a minute left anyway, so who cares, right? Unfortunately, the "friendly" is also now in a position to snag half of the LP that you just took 14 minutes out of your busy schedule to provide. The timer is ticking down. 40 seconds to go...

So here are your options:

1. Ignore him, take your 50% LP payment, and move along.

2. Ask him politely in local if he would mind letting you get the whole payout for your efforts.

3. Tell him to get the fuck out of your plex.

4. Tell him to get the fuck out of your plex -- and yellow box him.

5. Open fire (assume that you have the ability to win such a fight before the timer ends).

Before you decide, here are some considerations.

- This is not the first time you have had your LP stolen in this manner.

- He may or may not have malicious intent -- maybe he's intending to steal your LP, or maybe he thinks he's helping you.

- He is, from your point of view, a random scrub -- as in someone you don't fly with and haven't seen before, from a corp you haven't heard of.

So, what would you do? Leave your answers in comments!

Personally, I have, in one instance of this, chosen to open fire, resulting in this drama-bomb inducing killmail. In comments also please tell we if I was spot on, possibly over the line, or just a terrible person in general and I should pod myself, and why!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Word on the Battle For Kamela

Never in my eve career have I been so exhausted.

With Kourmonen effectively secured the previous day, the day before the Inferno patch saw a heavy push by the Minmatar militia into Kamela, the last major Amarrian stronghold.

I logged on in the wake of the drama shit storm caused by the move by blues Drunk and Disorderly to defend the Kamela for the Amarr, the short lived treaty, its inevitable demise, and standing resets all around. Eve was burning.

Excellent. I voted against having those blues in the first place anyway.

It was the last day to take systems with the current amount of VP required, before holding systems would actually give rewards. A pitched battle was inevitable. Shortly after logging in, I joined the push into Kamela. The illustrious SigmaPi took command, and we attacked the plexes. Our standing strategy was to focus on the minor and medium plexes, using thrashers and ruptures, respectively. The day saw a series of bloody fights with huge loss totals on both sides. At one point, it was mentioned that the total kills in Kamela (now the "most dangerous system" in eve) was up over 800 for the day. One fight in particular lasted for 20-30 minutes, in which we fought a combined fleet of Amarr, Gallente, and neutrals. I had time to call targets for 5 minutes in a rupture, die, reship in Kourm to a Vexor, die, and reship once again in time to return for the end of the fight and the Minmatar victory. We held the field against Amarr and their allies, in their home system.

As the night went on, the Amarr appeared to become increasingly desperate, at one point bringing out a cruiser fleet that was nearly half blackbirds. It was an interesting strategy, but by this point, three of us who had run out of ruptures had shipped into faster, stronger, fleet issue Stabbers. Myself, and the other two fleet stabbers were able to track down the blackbirds at range while the main rupture fleet meatshielded long enough at the warpin to give us another victory.

And if all the mindless violence wasn't enough, the night held one last bit of excitement. My alt, the omnipresent Corax Lorn, was watching Kamela station while we were capping a medium plex, ready to report Amarr fleets undocking. Instead, however, a neutral Charon undocked.

And then he warped to an insta.

I had to work quickly.

I immediately swapped to my system view map while aligning down, repositioned my hidden probes around the station, and hit scan. Bingo. I warped to the Charon result while triple W-ing in fleet. As I landed I called the fleet warp-in to my alt, and a moment later I called point. Yeah, that's why I put a scram on my Buzzard.

Unfortunately the freighter was empty, but we assume he was an Amarr alt (this has not yet been confirmed, to my knowledge).

In the end, we had neither the time, nor the pilots still awake to take Kamela, but the push allowed us to secure our key interests across the rest of the warzone.

Oh yeah and a bunch of ships exploded.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Word on Solo PVP

I'm a solo PVPer.

I do fly in gangs, I call targets, sometimes I even FC, but my real passion in eve is for solo PVP. It's the part of eve that I give the most thought. As such, I have a three basic principles that guide the way I fly when solo.


The number one thing I consider when solo is how to get people to want to fight me. If you want to find fights, it's important to be in a ship that people actually want to fight. Back when tackle inties were prevalent, and the taranis was king, I didn't fly the ranis, because people didn't want to fight that. When the pirate faction ship buffs came through, and everyone and their grandma jumped in drams, I didn't fly drams, because nobody wanted to fight a dram. It's important to see things from the point of view of your targets, and give them a fight they want to take. Many people will take fights they see as "even," but even more will take a fight where they think they have an advantage.

Beating the standard fit:

So you can get someone to fight you in a ship hull that appears to outclass your own. Great. Now how are you going to beat them? When I open EFT to make a fit, I'm looking for something that can beat what 95% of pilots are going to be flying. The idea is to present a scenario wherein your opponent believes he has the advantage, while in fact holding the pocket aces yourself. To this end, you want your ship to have what I'm begun calling the "win factor." Win factor is whatever it is about your fit that makes it better than the ships it's intended to fight. This can be accomplished many different ways. It can be packing on more gank and tank than is expected. In can be done with ewar. I'm a fan of tracking disruptors, but I've seen fits such as an ecm thrasher be devastatingly effective. Win factor can be a surprisingly strong active tank, or more speed than you'd expect. As a rule, I don't often solo in ships that don't have win factor. Most standard fits lack win factor. Standard fits are standard for a reason. They're solid, they work well in a variety of circumstances, especially in gangs. A standard fit is like a good cliche, it's popular because it's widely applicable. However, standard fits are rarely head and shoulders about other standard fits, and therefor can't expect to win a particularly high percentages of even fights.

An example of a type of fit that lacks win factor that I've seen a lot of lately is the single rep assault frig (lets set aside the vengeance from this, as that's something of a special case). I'm talking about armor AFs like the enyo, ishkur, wolf, and retribution. Many people fit these as active tanked with a single small repper. This strategy will work a decent amount of the time, especially against relatively low-dps opponents. The problem is that many of the enemies you might fight in such a ship will not be low dps ships. Natural opponents to the AF are other AFs and destroyers. Both of these classes can put out high amounts of dps that can be as much as 2, 3 of 4 times your active tank, especially if they can do the right damage type to hit your resist holes. Where a buffer fit might hang on longer (and will often have more dps as well), a single rep active tank will fold quickly once the damage outpaces its rep.

Avoiding the Blob:

The third major consideration of a solo pilot is to keep your fights limited to numbers you can handle. This can mean dodging a 30 man gang, or simply splitting a pair on a gate by getting one to agress and one to follow you through. Avoiding the "blob" is the reason I, and many other solo pilots fly predominately frigate hulls. Frigs have a a good changes of getting away if you jump into a camp, and they move from system to system quickly, which is nice for roaming.


Basically, you want to ask yourself three questions: How do I get people to want to fight me? How am I going to win this fight? How do I avoid getting ganked?

I'm happy to answer specific questions here or ingame, and most of my fits can be seen plastered all over various killboards.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Welcome to the Blob, and The Word on FW changes.

Here it is ladies and gentlemen: the moment you've all been waiting for (trust me, you've been waiting for it, even if you didn't know it). The one and only Galdornae has started a blog.

Since I have no idea what this blog is actually going to be about, let's go over some familiar ground, shall we?

FW changes and what they mean to me.

One of the greatest things about FW to me, has always been the PVP for PVP's sake. I loved the fight club. I loved simply being able to undock and get a in a fight. By and large, casual PVP is what FW has always been up until this point, with system occupancy being essentially an RP thing (which is fine by the way; as much as I love to troll RPers, they have a place in Eve just as much as I do). I joined FW shortly after I started playing Eve, and have been in 3 out of the 4 militia's since (just need Gallente for the set). I have had hundreds of great fights in FW, and by and large, I feel it has served me well. As a solo pilot, it has provided a nice hunting ground, as well as a nice fat free wardec to make people want to shoot me in the face.

So what went wrong?

In a word: stagnation.

When you fight the same people over and over and over again you learn what they do, what they can and will bring to a given fight, and what you should and should not fight. This goes both ways: the Minmatar learned the Amarr, and the Amarr learned the Minmatar. Fights became effectively scripted, with casual PVP turning into an endless dance of reshipping games. Other times, neither side seemed to really have much interesting in even logging in, much less undocking.

In a perfect world, we would still be able to PVP for PVP's sake, and the biggest concern would getting that "good fight" and preserving a sustainable balance of combat.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. The warzone did stagnate. The availability of fights - any fights, dried up. Many people left. Many more considered leaving. -

On a side note, I believe the sense of community provided by the alliances that have been made on the Minmatar side (specifically Late Night and Iron Oxide) is one of the main reasons for the current numbers imbalance. The Minmatar managed to hang together despite their differences (heck, go back a few months and KPP and Autoz were at war with each other, now we're in an alliance together). I'm not too familiar with current internal politics on the Amarr side, so I can't speak to what might have gone wrong for them, but I can say that the Alliances on the Minmatar side have kept us together. Kept us blobby. Whatever you want to call it.

Anyway, where was I? Right, the warzone stagnated. So the only real solution was to introduce incentives and/or penalties. Goal oriented PVP, however, means a whole new ballgame. Getting a good fight becomes a lower priority (with any luck still a priority), and objectives like holding onto your systems becomes a higher priority.

Would I love to still have the fightclub? Absolutely. In the absence of a viable fightclub though, I want something. Something fun. Something worth logging in for.

Will I stay in FW no matter what? No way. If things don't suit me I'm outta here. The grass is always greener and all that.

Am I willing to give it a try? Hell yeah. Lets do this. Come shoot me.

I will fight you one on one. I will fight you in the blobs. I will fight you on the beaches.