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January 19, 2008

Comments

Azumi Kurosawa

Hi just finished reading your blogs and would just like to agree with a few other ppl in saying you should consider having a word with a member of eve-university.

They are a player run alliance who provide experienced players who are willing to train and advise new players.

Now while they are held in high regard by most of the player base every now and again some group of pirates or other low lifes decides it would be fun to war dec Eve-Uni.

Now this is where it get's fun the tutors get there favored ships then ask for volunteers to bring whatever they want and go hunting sometimes they die somtimes they kill stuff worth 100x more than there whole fleet.

After a few losses like this and getting swamed by a horde of angry newbies a few times most of thepirates etc give up.

Now and again some of these bad guys are more persistent or a more serious challange on the few occasions this happens Eve-Uni opens a special corp in the alliance and asks for volunteers from the comunity to help.

They have had whole merc corps come and help them for free not to mention some of the most experienced players in eve joining just to help them fight a war.

Anyway I hope you find a new corp that suits you and stick it out and have fun in EvE

P.S if you ever want to have a chat about anything in game that your not sure about just send this Char an eve mail and I will do my best to help since I sadly now avoid the noob channel because of the isk spam.

P.P.S
The alliance i'm currently in has a small corp dedicated to helping ppl take there 1st steps into 0.0 without dying let me know if you might be intrested in joining

Iggep

I had been following your blogs about EVE and have spent considerable time over the past week reading about it. Actually been thinking about trying it out thanks to your wonderful description. But these last two blogs are an eye opener. One of the things I had read on the eve website was regarding how people could basically rip you off, but as long as they didn't actually use an exploit to do it, you were screwed. Your explanation of your corporate war fits that explanation exactly to a tee; leaving me wondering if I would in fact enjoy this game as much as I thought I would.

I still might try it out--if I can indeed drag myself away from my beloved WoW, but I'm a lot more circumspect now than before.

Thank you for the indepth coverage you've given the game!

Saylah

@Azumi...Thanks for the informative comments and the offer of assistance. I will look you up in the game when I come back to it in a couple of weeks. I will be looking into EVE Uni as several people have suggested.

@Iggep...You should give the game a try. How can you go wrong with a 15-day test ride? :-) I think there are two types of people that will really enjoy this game, assuming you enjoy Scifi. 1. People who enjoy a sandbox experience - this game is nothing if not that. 2. People who enjoy depth and some hardcore planning of progression. Of all the games I've played EO comes in 2nd for inspiring RP type thoughts while playing.

If you give it a try send mail to Alysianah and we can chat or hook up.

Stemline

Truly excellent set of posts Saylah.

Question: How does this rather sour time you’ve just had compare with the guild troubles you know of from your other MMOs?

Noticed that your experience led you to suggest a game mechanic fix. Seems to me that MMO ‘people mechanics’ (the framework of how guilds, PUGS, factions, RvR, and trade, are ACTUALLY led to function) could do with deeper thought from the producers. It’s where much of the fun and most of the pain in MMOs comes from, after all. Which MMOs handle this best?

Iggep, you can play EVE at a whole range of risk levels. I’ve been playing on and off for well over a year now, mostly solo carebear stuff. Been fine. Lost some ships, but meh. If you don’t risk more than you are ready to loose, then you’ll be OK. There ARE dangers which you can never quite eliminate, but you can reduce these a whole lot if you want by playing in high sec or in an NPC corp. Which BTW aren’t just for noobs. [In fact, a look at the in-game star map shows that in fact MOST pilots are to be found (enjoying themselves I hope) in Empire space. Checking their info, many high sec regulars have many millions of skill points. I guess, like me, they like doing some PvE in a PvP environment: making ISK peaceably, but also like knowing they are in a Big Bad universe, and got to watch their step... ]. Give it a try!

Saylah

@Stemline... That's a very interesting question. I'd say that on a scale of 1 to 10 (low compared to others or high), I'd rate EVE as a 7. I give it that rating because the drama can be introduced rather early into your playing experience and the repercussions can be significant. As you mentioned, there are ways to avoid it but, “you don’t know what you don’t know,” and herein lies the problem. A new player isn’t aware of and therefore can’t avoid these possibly game altering occurrences. For me, no problem, I’m a seasoned MMO gamer. For others, they might hit the door and never look back.

That’s not to say that the other MMOs don’t reach higher than 7, they do. If I were still raiding in WOW, I might rate it as an 8 for all of the preparation, time consumption, free time restrictions and loot drama that fall out of that mechanic. Hell, it might even deserve a 10 because the two end-game socialization/progression mechanics have completely divided the WOW player community into a nasty casuals vs. hardcore and PVE vs. PVP welfare recipients debate, which has raged for almost two years, and is only getting more contentious as time passes.

MMOs are designed to be social, as you’ve pointed out. Yet at the same time the feature-set for supporting this aspect of the game is always very limited. This lack of tools forces people to go outside of the game to locate tools to support these needs like – guild forms & message boards, DKP systems, event management, member rosters and in-game communication (integrated VOIP is just being embraced and whose recent implementations are teh suck compared to the external options available). They’ve all gotten the basic chat communications down but as for the rest of it, it’s decidedly weak fare.

Letrange

Sound like a "wee bit o' drama". Your corp had what we call "leadership issues". These things happen as people go in and out of the game and the leadership structures of corporations change. You also have to realize that it's not always to the advantage of the merc/pirate corps. Occasionally they chew off more than they can handle.

Short story: A corp enters discussions to join an alliance. Then out of the blue this 'merc' corp war decs them. They tell the alliance what happend and the alliance (which is mostly pvp anti pirate pilots) says not a problem. The corp joins the alliance and the alliance leader has a little chat with the merc corp ceo. "you might just want to reconsider that war dec". Polite and all. At which point the merc corp says "400mil for us to drop the wardec"....

The merc corp - about 10 pilots in total just managed to piss off 2 alliances since first alliance was allied with a 2nd alliance. Now these are small alliances by the big boys standards but they could field at the time a fleet of 30-40 ships where about half were BS and for low sec operations they could call on a carrier or two. These guys were mainly PvP and hadn't had a good war in months (anti pirate sweeps are great for getting some of your PvP skills sharp). What followed was not pretty from the merc point of view.

The thing here is that you have to think of the EvE environment as Gunboat Diplomacy cubed. It's very much a sand box MMO. There's much less PvE in the traditional "big scary boss monster" things to do in this game. The political maneuvering of the various sized alliances however keep things hopping. Intelligence and scouting are of primary importance once you get out into low sec and 0.0. Good corp/alliance leadership is also key. So figure out what type of play style you want and go apply to corporations that match that style. Find out who the good leaders are. Take notes, lots and lots of notes. There's an in game note pad. There's an in game calculator. Use em.

Saylah

@Letrange... Thanks for the information. One thing I did learn was about all this covert stuff - options, ships and equipment. It opened my eyes to a whole other side of the game that is interesting. I don't have the time to devote to EO to be such a player but if I did, that's where I'd be headed after this adventure.

Nuyan

Nice post again. Reading about someone else's drama and frustrations made me smile.

About the war-dec mechanics. Adding some kind of ability to pay-off to avoid war wouldn't be a good idea. The big thing is that there need to be consequences. When someone is smack-talking (sometimes in a very nasty way), people should be able to make the bastard pay for it. If someone is constantly looting your containers/wrecks, you should be able to do something about it. There need to be consequences for your actions, if there aren't your actions become meaningless. WoW-PvP is meaningless because of it.

That's why I'm also annoyed that people are able to stay in npc-corporations that can't be attacked in high-sec forever. CCP should add a maximum timelimit or something, so players aren't able to stay in them for longer than 6 months. Or let them pay ISK for being in such protected corporation..

Saylah

@Nuyan... I agree that there should be consequences. I don't have any problem with that aspect. However, if someone pays to pre-maturely end the war-dec then it should end. They shouldn't be allowed to take payment (because it's done via player agreement and not gaming mechanic) and still attack because in reality, as far as the game is concerned, there is still a war-dec in effect. That's my only problem with how it works today. I'd like to see an official "Ransom" or "Surrender" mechanic added to the game.

The way it is now, I could be at the end of pirate missiles being held for ransom. I could pay the ransom and there's nothing that would stop them from still blowing me up and salvaging my ship, seconds after the payoff. If there was a ransom mechanic, I could be protected from them for 10 minutes - just enough time to put distance between us. I'm sure there would be all sorts of loops wholes that aggressive players would think of, but it would be better than nothing.

If there was a surrender mechanic, in the same scenario as above, I could decline to pay the ransom. Perhaps I can't afford the ransom or my in game convictions dictate I don't pay 'em. With a surrender mechanic I could surrender my ship but be protected from a pod-kill.

I'm not asking to remove consequences, I'd just personally prefer something more solid than the existing gentleman's agreement, because there is no honor among thieves. ::Smile::

roBurky

"I was impressed by the corporation that had dec’d us. I didn’t care for their tactics but their intel and combat skills couldn’t be denied. If I was going to PVP, I wanted to be with an outfit that new what the hell they were doing."

After reading this, I thought the piece was about to finish with you applying to the corp that attacked you.

You'd probably have been denied on suspicion of being a spy, but it would have been a poetic end to the tale.

Helfix

Hey give me a mail on Helfix on EO...

Your more then welcome into our corp, we will be more then happy to help you out from PvP to every basic need. Our corp is mainly PvP focused and as I said we would be more then happy to help you out.

Awesome read... reminds me of my first corporation I joined like 4 or so months ago :).

-Helfix

Saylah

@roBurky... Now that would have been an interesting twist. I didn't have a clue about electronic warfare before this all happened but now I'm very curious.

@Helfix... Hey, thanks much for the offer. I'm going to be MIA for a couple of weeks but will look you up when I return.

Asestorian

As a long term, although casual, EVE player (around 4 years now) it was interesting to see an article looking at starting EVE as a new player, especially one that actually seemed to understand what EVE was about.

I have to say I'm not sure I agree for the need to have a ransom mechanic in the game. Without it you bring in the concept of reputation, and those pilots who frequently dishonour ransoms and the like start to get a reputation for doing that, so they get less ransoms. There is, however, an actual surrender system for corporations in war.

I would agree though that there just isn't enough information for new players that's obvious and easily accessible when it comes to these mechanics. A lot of information is only gained through reading the forums or posting in the new player section (where nice people like myself get our post count up and be helpful at the same time), but it's just not something that most players seem to do. Hell, most of them don't even properly do the tutorial based on some of the questions I've seen ingame..

But anyway. As for corporations, I've always thought it was a terrible idea to collect new players together in a corporation with no goal just mining away. I got into that at one point and basically I just stagnated, I never learnt anything, although I did enjoy talking to people. New corporations should always have a goal, and it's an important lesson for any EVE player to take note of that and make sure to find out a corporations goal before they join. Although I guess your choices can be a bit limited when you're on a trial account.

And as EVE University has already been mentioned, I thought I should just offer up some advice to check out the Agony Unleashed PvP training courses. They cost ISK to go on, and do apparently take some time to complete, but I've yet to hear of a player dissatisfied with what they ended up learning on those courses, and as a new player one of the best things you can say to a corporation is that you already have some good PvP experience.

Saylah

@Asestorian... Thank you for the very informative response. I will definitely check out Agony Unleashed. It sounds promosing for gaining PVP expeirence as well as some high adventure. ::Smile::

Not sure why, but I haven't frequented the EVE forums as much as I have other game forums. Hmm - I'll have to think on why that is.

Foo

In my opinion the war dec could be nerfed a little bit - it's remarkably cheap to get the law to look the other way while you pop citizens of good standing in the heart of empire space. And if the cops are that corrupt I think a corp should at least be able to pay protection money to upgrade their war dec costs. I mean seriously - even in the wild west you couldn't throw the sheriff a few bucks and shoot your neighbors.

But seriously: NAME NAMES OR STFU? Try telling that to the execs or hr department of any actual corporation and see how far you get with that "you have to tell me everything or it's just a rumor" mentality.

"I don’t kiss ass in my life...Man up and fight or in your favorite term, STFU." Spare me. I'm still an active member of corp remarkably like the one you're describing, but in my case the entire episode was a thing of the past virtually the next day.

Did our corp have big guns and experienced players? Not enough - not yet. Was it frustrating? Obviously. And when times are tough, and things go badly, and you're camped in a foxhole, what's the best thing to do? Start blaming certain officers? Start demanding answers? Start telling the people who just got beat up with you to STFU? Yeah. That helps.

If that encounter was enough to get you to quit that corp then you did the right thing. Play PvE in an npc corp or join a PvP corp that's already established, and thank you for taking a piece of the counterproductive negativity you were complaining about with you.

Best regards.

Saylah

@Foo... Either you only scanned the post or your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired. I entered into the argument that was already raging. And as a member, I was entitled to my point of view and my tone matched how we were being spoken to...

I treat people in the same manner and tone of how they treat me - in game and in real life. I've been in many organized groups in games, whether it be corps in EVE or guilds in other games, and I've yet to have an argument with an officer that dissolved into those type of conversations except with this group. Why? Because that is exactly how they were addressing their membership! Sorry, someone doesn't get to caps lock and use abusive language and not get like in return. To be frank, this was the first time I'd ever seen a officer and I use that term lightly, direct profanity toward its members. And sure I know it happens but that's not the place for me regardless of whatever else transpires, it shows a lack of maturity, control and respect AND all but ensures converations descend exactly where this one did.

As far as me being counter productive, I guess you skipped over the parts where I wanted to support the people who wanted to fight back instead of squatting like sitting ducks, replace the ships of people who lost theirs and were now broke and encouraged people who couldn't afford to fight to just evacuate the area. You're right, all of that was counter productive so it's a good thing I left.

Valen Drax

The war mechanics do need a little tweaking. I mean when getting attacked by pirates, all bets are off. But many corps will abide (mostly) by the rules of a treaty.

The thing that I think EvE does need is an actual treaty system. Much like the contracts in fact because that is what a treaty is. Treaties could offer ISK, Assets like ships or gear, and in terms of alliances, the surrender of certain systems. For it, the two corps or alliances are then held to an agreement for a term, decided upon by the treaty members, where hostile actions can not be officially re-entered.

This is not to say Corps in 0.0 might not have skirmishes cause their is no real law in 0.0. But it would provide grounds in empire. Where breaching the treaty could lead to security hits, concord reprisals, or even loss of corporate status and the closing of offices with out allowing the vacation of the hangers.

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The Smithes

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