Welcome to the reincarnation of my blog. This will be a public forum (why else would I publish it to a blog?) but mostly I plan to use this space to organize my thoughts about EVE Online and maybe a few random thoughts that are only peripherally related to EVE. I'm familiar with the characters on EVE forums, so comments will be moderated. Trolls, griefers, and those with nothing constructive to add will be ignored. I may also delete anonymous postings; I'm putting myself out here and showing you my face - the least you can do is show yours.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Why do we PVP?

Corelin, author of Mad Haberdashers, posed a very timely question:  What is the point of PVP?

Corelin explains that in other games, PVP is rewarded with money, increased skill and access to better items.  EVE is very different in this respect; aside from the occasional loot drop, the reward for PVP in EVE is bragging rights.  I suppose there is also the satisfaction of executing a well planned strategy, or optimizing a fit for a particular role within a strategy, but the bottom line is that PVP in EVE is almost entirely about the ego boost.

Truenig1ght suggested that I listen to some podcasts by Kil2 and Sar Caid (Truen1ght, do you have a link to Sar Caid?).  I listened to all 8 of Kil2's recordings in one sitting.  Episode 2 (?) had an interesting discussion about the motivation for fighting, and specifically, what to do to counter loss fatigue.  (My words, not theirs).  This was a particularly timely episode, having lost 5 Tristans and a Bestower full of frigates and modules.  By Saturday night, one day after joining RVB, I was starting to doubt the wisdom of my decision and my motivation for playing EVE at all.

Any of my friends will tell you that I am not an ego driven person at all.  I get no satisfaction from external recognition of my achievements.  In fact, my friends often get annoyed with me for not mentioning milestones.  Needless to say, having my name at the top of the list on a Titan kill has no allure to me whatsoever.

So I spent this weekend thinking about this question.  The fact of the matter is that EVE has taught me so much about so many things.  I incorporate my online experiences into my RL experiences almost daily.  At the moment, I can offer no specifics - maybe that's a post for another time.  The bottom line is that every move I've made in EVE has resulted in a learning situation with practical RL applications. I expect PVP will have similarly useful results.

The lesson I learned this week is about persistence and motivation.  Learning something new is rarely easy.  You have to deal with a lot of people who are out there who take pleasure in obstructing your path.  Occasionally, you have to have to step back and ask yourself, what is it that you want to achieve?  Also, how much do you want to invest in the effort to achieve it? 

Now, imagine yourself in a Tristan and the FC has called the cruiser sitting within your point range primary. Shortly after you've aggressed the target, your overview starts blinking yellow, then red and damage reports start flashing on the screen.  Instinct tells you to align and GTFO.  You start thinking about how much of a pain in the ass its going to be to get another frigate out of Jita and how long you'll have to spend shooting at red crosses to pay for (another) loss.  Then, just as your low armor alarm goes off, the cruiser pops!  In an instant, you align to a tactical, pray that no one is scrambling you, and warp out with a trail of fire behind you.  All of the previously flashing red boxes disappear.  You collect your wits, take the kill in for a moment while aligning back to the newly primaried target, and do it again.

Yes, I lost another Tristan.  Yes, I'll have to spend 15 minutes ratting to pay for it.  No, no one even remembered who tackled that cruiser and no, no kill mails in my combat log (my name was at the bottom of the list of participants).  Victory?  Hardly!  But I STAYED, I TANKED, and the target was DESTROYED!

Now, back to RL.  Think of all of those moments, when you face a task - especially the little annoying ones:  the visit to the in-laws, fixing a leaking faucet, an oil change.  Now imagine crossing those things off your list:  No more wife agro, no more damage leaking into structure, no more blinking lights on your dashboard.  Victory? (!!!)

1 comment:

  1. Found you off of Stan's blog.

    I agree that EVE has RL corollaries, and vice-versa (in fact real life may just be an extension of EVE, this is still in debate), and "make a blogging" comparing RL and EVE in an always-hyperbolic and usually-amusing manner. :-)

    As for the "point" of PvP in EVE, well, "Sov Null" was supposed to be "PvP with a point" -- take and hold better territory because it's better and actually intrinsically worth more, therefore others will want to take it from you.
    I had an alt in FW for a few weeks. The "instant-on" PvP aspect is nice, but I can get that anywhere in lowsec -- the only diff is sec drops. Missions are ok, but the fact that they light a beacon on everyone's overview to come and kill you really makes them difficult. Rewarding yes, VERY risky, yes.
    Really there's nothing compelling (for me) about FW... You can "take" a system, but in the end that gains nothing for the captors, so, what's the point again?

    Even Sov Null is so politicked out now that as I told Corelin, really the "big battles" are decided long before anyone ever lights a cyno. Sure, they still HAVE them because they keep us grunts happy who like to see explosions, oodles of killmails, and write forum/blog posts bragging about how much ISK damage we did or how we held the field at the end of the day, blah blah... perfect example, C-J6.

    By the time we (-A- coalition) made it to the point of that final timer battle, that whole constellation was lost to RED. Even if they, PL, CFC, et al, HAD successfully repelled our attack, we were so far in by then that it would just have been a matter of time before shooting the station down again and having ANOTHER go at it.
    There really was no "stroke of strategic genius" that RED could have pulled off to somehow outflank us and fuck us up, turn the tide of the war in one fell swoop (short of just ordering up every Titan and SC in the universe to swarm us under), and send us packing.

    THAT, I think, is the one big problem that keeps EVE PvP from being "truly meaningful".

    Bigger is ALWAYS better in this game. Other than bombers, there really is no meaningful way that a "small gang" can put the hurt on a bigger force. There's no valid "hit and fade" tactics that will keep a small gang picking away at a larger force til it's routed.

    "Reality comparison" = sov warfare is Revolutionary War-era warfare. Line up big blocks of soldiers, shoot into each others' ranks til one side or the other loses too many guys and breaks.
    Where that falls flat: the Colonial Militias used hit-and-fade tactics to GREAT effect. They also targeted and killed officers and leaders, beheading the beast... which they just re-ship or turn it over to a backup FC, so that doesn't work.

    You also can't tell at a glance who the squad/wing/fleet boosters are (unless you have a spai in the ranks to tell you who) so you can't even shoot the boosts out from under the opposing fleet. :-/

    Basically EVE PvP is stuck in the Colonial days, only where a big block of troops confronts anything smaller, it automatically wins.

    Hard fix is hard: make it so that each "missed" shot has a chance to hit something for x distance past the missed target. A smaller-ship fleet gets "under the guns" of a bigger-ship one, and the bigger fleet trying to blap the smaller ships inadvertently HELPS the small ships because in trying to blap the frigs and cruisers orbiting them, the battleships are also nailing each other with BS-sized weapons, doing huge damage.
    Then supercaps really WILL need subcap protection...and the BSes and BCs will need frig and cruiser screens to protect against a small gang of HACs orbiting a bunch of BSes and having them basically take EACH OTHER out. ;-)

    Now THAT is a fleet fight.