Monday, February 22, 2016

Goblin's Fairy Tales

So I ended up reading Gevlon's blog post, with his “very lenient peace terms”.  It’s almost sad, how self-deluded he is, that he’s some amazing EVE Online player, and yet he doesn’t seem to engage in PvP.  He pays others to do it for him.  His killboard is a joke: 12 kills, 4 losses.  He’s been in an NPC corporation since he started the game in 2012.  He’s made ISK in-game, sure, but where does it all go?  Well, into the pockets of people he has do all his work for him!  There’s no risk to him while he stays docked in station, though I’m fairly confident he has a PvP character elsewhere, cleverly disguised so as to not be traceable.  Plausible deniability.  Hell, he’s probably in Goonswarm itself!

The verbiage leads one to believe he has a severely narcissistic personality, much as many self-important.  The constant reminder that he is paying people to kill Goon ships in high sec, to fight them in null, to do X and Y, but never actually giving a neutral viewpoint.  Oftentimes this is a good indication that the opposite side of the coin is something that frightens him.  But we’re not going back years to explain killboards, ISK efficiency, shifting battle lines because of gameplay changes, or the like.  What we are looking at is the claims made.

First, we look at Sov changes.  When “Fozzie Sov” was introduced, almost every null-sec group agreed that this would change the outlook of sov-holding alliances, and that it would be better to foxus on smaller groups holding areas of sov, all under the protective umbrella of the larger alliances.  This changed the names on some areas, but overall didn’t change much, because even though several groups hold areas in Tribute, Pure Blind, etc., they’re also falling into the sphere of influence of Goonswarm, and other groups.  More alliances also means it allows those groups to take care of their own sov issues: they can hunt down and defend their IHubs, TCUs, and command nodes, and request reinforcements from other groups rather than force those groups to do so all over the area.  For example, even though Goonswarm today was looking to defend their sov space, Tactical Narcotics Team did the same, and it allowed for multiple groups to do the same thing, work together, and keep their sphere intact.  This is similar to how combat operations after an invasion happens: decisions and operations are planned out and carried out at the regimental or battalion level, which is how one should look at alliances.  The larger division or corps might decide the objectives, but how those objectives are achieved can be left at the smaller group levels.  This allows for a rapid change in a fluid combat environment, which Imperium is capable of doing.

Goonswarm wasn’t alone in this outlook: as stated previously, almost every other null-sec entity said that this would be the better way to run sov after the changes, so it’s no surprise that much of the space around Deklein is held by other entities: Circle-of-Two, Tactical Narcotics Team, SpaceMonkey’s Alliance, and Fidelas Constans all own space around them, offering not just a buffer, but allies if required.

More to the point, the attacks going on right now don’t hit Goonswarm-held space.  The attacks are focused on the other alliances with-in the Imperium, in the hopes of fracturing and destroying the coalition brick by brick.  Mordus Angels continue to attacks SMA and TNT holdings, and even attempt to damage the IHubs of CONDI systems, but the bulk of the fighting is aimed at the other alliances in the Imperium.  It would be impossible right now to try to take sov from Goonswarm, and the hope is that enough small chips will force Goons to pick and choose who to help, and thus cause the ones who aren’t aided to view it as a betrayal and splinter off.  This hasn’t worked, though, and the Imperium (to include Goons proper) have come to the aid of each other.  While people tout successes at hitting SMA, for example, they ignore the utter failings of engaging and dismantling of their fleets when the rest of the Imperium shows up.  It could be argued that SMA’s loss of numbers is a direct consequence of this focused effect, but the truth is no one has bothered to ask the CEOs of those corporations why they left. Not even me.  And I’ll admit that I have feelers out to get the reasons why they left, which may be between “we can’t rat and make money” to “we are tired of losing our damn Jackdaws”.

Is it possible that this is a direct result of attacks on Goonswarm?  Absolutely.  The more poignant and relevant question is, is this likely?  Not by a long shot.  Changes in game mechanics require changes in how the players play and act; and while Gevlon will gladly tell you how much MoA and TISHU have destroyed, he conveniently leaves out how much they have lost.  He makes no distinction between kills of GSF members that have only those members on it: as long as one person is on the kill—whoring or otherwise—it counts.  If the same metric were used, there’s a good chance the opposite would be true.  But we’re not here to debate years of killboard statistics, because that would require time to go through individual killmails since 2014.  It simply shows the lack of specificity in his claims (this is a trend of Gevlon’s).

Second, Sion being banned from the CSM: no, that hasn’t happened.  At worst, he’s been ostracized, but that isn’t the same as being banned.  More to the point, it call into question CCP’s commitment to the players, because it seems anyone who has a disagreement with CCP’s decisions is similarly ostracized, with CCP even blatantly saying the CSM was not the “normal channels” for communication with developers, despite that being one of the core reasons for having the CSM, especially in lieu of the Incarna debacle.

Okay, now on to the loveable claims made by Gevlon, about TMC losing views.  What metric does he use for that?  What site does he base this on?  Well, his post on 18 November 2015 linked to Alexa, which showed a decline in visits, absolutely.  However, checking that site 23 February 2016 shows that they haven’t kept track of the site’s traffic at all since October! (Source).  However, a different source shows only a slight downtrend beginning 01 August 2015 and ending 01 January 2016, 640,000 hits to 630,000 hits, for those respective dates. (Source).  So while a general viewership loss of 10,000 might be a loss, it’s really nothing in the scheme of things, especially when you consider that the numbers seem to fluctuate depending on the month.  01 November 2015, for example, saw 520,000 visits, so obviously those numbers continue to go up.

So the claims are either fabrications, untruths, or impossible to quantify and qualify because of missing information.  In any of the three possibilities, it shows the bias and the blinders being worn by Gevlon.  Is he getting his money’s worth?  The return seems to be saying he is.  But is the end game being achieved?  Not likely.  What is being lost is a pittance in the grand scheme of things, and the facts Goons continue to run strong two years after this began speaks volumes towards this point.

Now, let’s look at his demands, which are laughable, at the very least.

First, he demands a complete stoppage of suicide ganking by Imperium members.  That isn’t going to happen, and he knows it.  There’s a lot of ISK made with Burn Jita, a lot of tears generated.  It actually helps the economy.  Also, what’s to stop those people who engage in it from dropping to NPC corporations, or dropping to CODE. and continuing the fun and games?  He knows there’s ways around it.  What’s he going to do, complain some more?  Blow more ISK to kill a bunch of -10 pilots?  He essentially wants high sec to become safer, when it is already incredibly safe.  If anything, right now high sec space is safer today than when it was when I started playing in 2009!  People don’t want to watch their monitors when hauling through Niarja and Uedama, let them pay the price for complacency.  Suicide ganking has a plethora of punishments already attached.  Just because you don’t like them doesn’t mean that it isn’t something that is valid, and CCP has said this multiple times.

Second, he demands that Goonswarm make the Imperium five alliances instead of the current 11.  He demands Mittani pick and choose who to keep in the coalition, which means if you’re not chosen, there will be hurt feelings.  When Gevlon expects is that if a group is kicked, they’ll be required to hand their sov to other Imperium members, and then Gevlon can go to those alliances and say, “You were slighted, you should totally join me in disbanding Goons!”  It’s a clever metagame, but it’s easy to spot.  More to the point, earlier in this post he said that Goons already tell people what to do, that autonomy in the coalition is impossible to gain.  He claims Goons run the show, and he doesn’t like it.  But he’s okay just this once if Mittens flexes his muscle and tells people what to do here.  It falls into his metagame.

Finally, he demands an apology to Mordus Angels, among others.  That’s not gonna’ happen, again.  He claims they are the “best PvPers” around, but the truth is that in an engagement of similar numbers and similar ship types, Imperium forces usually come out on top.  Mordus Angels and Psychotic Tendancies. tend to run from fights in which they do not control the field via numbers or larger, more expensive, and/or better ships.  That’s fine, no one wants to risk their ship and pod if they aren’t going to get some kills.  But what comes out at the end of the day is the self-delusion of Gevlon.  If anything, the fact people are upset over words said on forums, on Reddit, and over propaganda and have seen fit to generate content over it should be commended, because that is what null sec needs: more fights, whether good or not.

Gevlon reminds me of those people in World of Warcraft, who talk a big game, but when push comes to shove there’s no real consequences.  You can be an ass all you want, but there’s safety in those games, there’s no fear of losing what you have earned.  As I said, maybe he has a PvP character outside of his character that is in no way affiliated, but who knows?  He is no different than the people he tries to vilify, and is guilty of projecting his own shortcomings on others.

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