Thursday, July 23, 2015

The FozzieSov Experience From The Other Perspective

Rixx Javix recently posted about how he and (presumably) A Band Apart have been having a lot of fun since FozzieSov.  And that’s great.  I’m glad pirate groups are having a great time.

For me, the past six weeks have been utterly, soul-crushingly boring.

Now, it’s possible that this is just a personal experience, that the specific conditions of me in my coalition, my alliance, my corporation, and – most importantly – my play time all result in a boring, unengaging experience.  Other members of my corporation haven’t felt the same.  But I know I’m not at all interested in chasing around individual entosis pilots or ratting for sov indexes.  I don’t want to be a babysitter.  And I highly doubt I’m the only one.

The key question is how many people agree with me.  Am I representative, or am I an outlier?  Are others experiencing the sense that sov ownership is going to be a chain around the necks of players?  I don’t know the answer to that.  

Lulls are a hell of a thing in MMOs.  Many players have built Eve into their daily routines.  They have in-game obligations and build their schedules, expectations, and responsibilities around those times.  After 30 days, it becomes comfortable.

That’s all it takes to establish a habit… 30 days of repetitive behavior.

And it works in reverse, too.  If you spend too much time away from a thing, you start to not only learn to live without it, but you find that you start to prefer not having it.  This is how you slip into bad habits, too.

So, with that understanding, I’m very concerned when I see lulls in Eve.  They represent players deciding there’s a wide world away from Eve.  And once they’re gone, their lives move on.  Typically, most folks don’t have successful relationships with an old girlfriend the second go around.  You’ve both changed.  You don’t have the same needs you did.

There’s been a lot of talk about whether FozzieSov is a good thing for the gameworld.  That’s a tough argument to make either way.  On the one hand, current sov null players don’t want the status quo to change, and they’ll immediately react poorly to anything that rocks their boat.  That player set is already suffering from a selection bias… they only stay in the old system if they like the old system.  And if they aren’t suited to it, they’ve already been pushed out.

On the other hand, the pro-FozzieSov camp has its problems too… wanting an existing system to change and wanting it to change to a specific alternative are two very different things.  It’s easy to find people who want to overthrow the king, but those groups never agree on what should be done afterwards.

Add to that the very basic fact that if you change the system and push out all the old participants, you need to repopulate it by convincing large and diverse groups of people to change their behavior to try something new.  That’s incredibly difficult.

So, when you ask current sov-null players, the default reaction you have to expect is that they hate FozzieSov.  When you ask everyone else, you should expect the default response to be delight.

We’re only a week into FozzieSov, but I think it’s safe to say that one particular narrative out there is clearly not true… the long delay in FozzieSov’s deployment did not cause players to simply wait for it to be released.  We’ve seen no change in player logged-in counts.  People were not waiting with bated breath for FozzieSov to go live so they could test it out and see how well it works.  The numbers we’ve got are the numbers we’ve got.

The future of null-sec is going to be a game of chicken between attackers and defenders.  Who will tire first?  Maybe the attackers will realize that the maximum 6:1 disadvantage for well-indexed systems causes all their efforts to be a colossal waste of time with little satisfaction to show for it.  Even hate wears thin when the results are so minimal as to be insignificant.

Or, maybe the defenders are experiencing the same thing I am.  They’re get tired of spending their time either ship spinning or joining fleets to chase around entosis attacks or rat/mine to boost indexes.  Maybe they’ll hear other players, like Rixx, talk about how much fun they’re having and start to take a hard look at how they’re spending their time online.

I know that personally, I have little incentive to log Talvorian in right now.  When I do, I sniff around for a fleet, and when there isn’t one (not if), I go roaming by myself through low-sec.  Most of my time online is spent looking for fights with my new FW alt (big thanks to the RDRAW guys, who are truly awesome and eager to jump into any fight they find!) or ratting with Valeria.

But I continue to watch Jabber hopefully.  I’m not at the point yet where I’ve given up hope for content.  It’s summer after all, and that’s why the content is so dry.  Right?



  1. Do you expect someone to mount a serious assault on GSF? I don't understand what you are seeking when your (collective) every move is designed to prevent credible threats.

    If not that, then why doesn't GSF do something interesting? I'm confused.

    1. I do admit, I'd hoped GSF's enemies would have mounted a serious threat. I keep hoping that would be the case. I really don't like the Age of Coalitions, but if someone wants to topple the king, they've got to bring it. For a new paradigm to rise, you can't just let the other one die... you've got to kill it. Otherwise, the same iteration repeats.

      So, yeah, I did expect people to band together to attack GSF. I expected a death by a thousand cuts. After all, while GSF is powerful, it's not omnipotent or eternal.

      It would have been one hell of a war. It'd have been a great struggle. And that's, after all, what every good Nietzschean wants.

    2. Lol, so people just basicly blue balled the GSF .... .

    3. Or. Everyone following just has to get tired of the king. Not having fun in GSF? Go have fun with Rixx or someone else. Enough people do that, GSF will fall.

      That's what has always boggled me about people who complain about Age of Coalitions from the inside. At any point they can go have fun somewhere else. They're complaining about a thing that they're voluntarily subjecting themselves to. Go have fun somewhere else, there are 5 other areas of space outside Sovnull. Still want Null but without coalitions, NPC Null can be fun. Want something completely different, go to W-Space. Lowsec has 2 separate playstyles to choose from, pirates and fac-war. Highsec, which everyone hates, once you start jumping around you find out it's the most vibrant area of space in PVP engagement types; RvB, at least 4 different ganking cultures, low level wars.... There's stuff to do everywhere.

    4. From kill-farming miners in high-sec to BL's dunking of Brave. There is no incentive in Eve to "aim high". Picking fights that you know to win are the order of game.

    5. Maybe it is my selective memory but many cases where the king is toppled I think there weren't only external forces cutting it but internal disagreement and disobedience. Why go hitting a well fortified castle if you can have fun with the population outside? Why attack GSF if provi, Test and braves are out there? GSF is very well organized but from my perspective of the outside it is also pretty risk adverse, laughing at attackers that only bring one fleet while they counter with 3, wondering why they don't attack seriously.

      If there is no fleet entertaining you, maybe it is the right time to call for one your own. I don't think you are the only one too, so rally those guys and attack your neighbours. The entosi will make sure you get a response and if don't outnumber those you attack, maybe you end up having some fun. Losses maybe, but fun none the less.

      By the way, shouldn't there be a big invasion happening in Providence right now? Haven't heard of it yet. Is Mittani waiting for some bugfixes?

    6. "It would have been one hell of a war. It'd have been a great struggle."

      You know, I don't often believe someone can be wilfully blind to the consequences of their actions, and I least expected it of you.

      War with the CFC is not 'fun'. It is not 'enjoyable'. It is not 'gudfites'. War with the CFC is a soul destroying, meandering grindfest, where every tool of their arsenal is levelled against you. I repeat, this war would not be fun.

      This is the Age of Coalition, not coalitions. The semi-ironic choice of every fool with a flag to name their alliance groupings as Coalition disguises the truth that there never was, nor is going to be a counterweight to 40,000 characters.

      I cannot, for the life of me, fathom how you consider absolute imbalance between competing powers something that would make a "great struggle". NC., PL, Nulli, CVA, GCLUB, etc barely make up half of the coalitions numbers.

      If you want to consider something, consider the exhaustion of hatred. People don't hate the CFC any more, they've wisened up. You cannot beat them, not short term, not long term. If such is the case, why even try?

      “Go then, there are other worlds than these.”

      And the people went.

      Rob K.

      As for Zappity, Ask not what GSF can do for you, but what you can do for GSF. (Quit, is the best answer)

    7. I could be wrong but I don't think anyone cares enough. There's just too much isk around for people to be bothered fighting over space.

      I did expect to see much more entosis activity targeting the weaker alliances tbh. Disappointing. Some more changes required I think.

    8. Rob, I think that's old thinking... the wars of old - where it's one gang smashing another - no longer apply. Numbers aren't as important as flexibility, and many small alliances working independently towards the same goal can be very, very flexible.

    9. Chanina, you're right about internal forces, and I do see some of that happening. After all, I'm feeling this way, right?

      As to fleets, the Imperium is starting up a nice new group focused exactly on this kind of small gang thing. I'm hoping it picks up, as it has the potential for being great fun.

    10. Where do these small alliances base? Where do they come from? What 'generates' them? What can they do to counter CFC numbers?

      More importantly, 'working independently towards the same goals'?

      They can't base is Null-sec space, because it far too easy to 'hell-camp' them. Low-sec space entrances are few, and easily camped.

      In short, flexibility is great, but wars are decided by staying power. These 'small alliances' would last a short time, until they're ground down by the reality that fighting the CFC is self-imposed torture.

      And the one thing numbers give you, above anything else, is staying power.

      Just as a thought experiment, I'd like you to give me a list of these advantages you believe people other than the CFC hold.

      Rob K.

    11. I think I've shared before how to attack the Imperium. I'll try to find it and mail it to you.

      I wanted to respond to one point, though. You can't hell-camp 15 npc null systems at the same time.

    12. Oh, no need, I'm familiar with it. I do think that this is one case where there's more than one solution. You're strike-and-fade plan has a good-ish way of winning.

      However, the easiest solution is undeniably, to hollow out the CFC by complete disengagement from them. Do not fight them, do not attack them, do not even think of them. A directed-denial-of-content (DDoC) would kill them far more efficiently than a burn-out inducing campaign. Even better, it consumes no effort from your side.

      It also strikes a darkly humorous note within me. Winning the game, by not playing it....

      It is happening already, in my opinion. Only 'newbie corps' now go north to attack in anything close to fleet numbers. Hopefully, they'll learn soon enough, and the CFC will prey on itself in starvation.

      As for 'hell camp 15 systems', where are you going to find 15 alliances to live in those systems? A cloaky sabre-Nado group of two players requires 3 or 4 players to counter, so on and so forth until these new alliances are grouped up in one system again.

      Rob K.

      Rob K.

    13. I've read the base out of NPC null argument before. I don't know if it was specifically yours. But I've read it.

      Every time someone brings it up post-Phoebe all I can think is that there's a lot of people out there who can't read a map and have been sitting on a well ran logistics wing for so long they've forgot how the other half lives.

    14. The point is kind of beaten into the ground already, but I want to add another angle to the answer to "why doesn't anyone attack the CFC?"

      That is, the entire southeast used to be claimed and has collapsed, with the arguable exception of Providence, who survive purely on dogged determination. Why would I try to take land from The Imperium when I can go take systems in Catch or Querious or poke at BL in Fountain or go to the Cloud Ring Thunderdome or, hell, try to break off a piece of Geminate or the closer Drone Regions?

      Not only is fighting the group formerly known as the CFC not fun because it has been engineered that way from the top, but it's full of bored nerds who're just looking for someone to shoot. You're not going to get a serious invasion until it stops being the case that literally the entire rest of the galaxy looks more vulnerable.

  2. Have you considered that any new population that could be drawn to sov null might be waiting for the entosis trolls to tire as well? The purpose of Aegis Sov was to discourage holding underpopulated space so that smaller groups could fill it (achieving higher overall density so there's more friction with less travel). That potential population influx would be less prepared to deal with the new mechanics, and will be more easily discourage by existing powerblocks trolling them than current null residents. It's going to take more than a week under the new system (and potentially some refinements by CCP) before you see any benefits from the new sov mechanics.

    And to be clear, CCP is _NOT_ trying to push out any of the current residents of null. They just want it so more people can move out there to shake things up. That's a big change; it's not going to happen quickly, and yes, it may take more refinements to the system.

    1. I absolutely agree that's a possibility. It's one I pray and hope happens. I still maintain that the other half of the equation is needed - making null worth the hassle of maintaining it. We need more than enough people wanting null-sec, not "enough", for there to be conflict.

      If CCP simply didn't realize what they were doing, I can forgive them. But it does look as if their goal is to burn all the castles down first, then provide the incentive to encourage people to repopulate.

    2. "But it does look as if their goal is to burn all the castles down first, then provide the incentive to encourage people to repopulate."

      In the sense that unoccupied systems were owned for moons/renters/buffers, then yes, they did need to burn those castles down. That space needed to be opened for new conquerers. The CFC readjustment is a textbook example of what was needed. The same people are now living in much less space, leaving more room for new neighbors. That kind of forward thinking makes it much easier not to hate goons these days (which might not be what you hoped for. ;-)

      "I still maintain that the other half of the equation is needed - making null worth the hassle of maintaining it."

      The problem CCP faces is always that if simple ownership brings too many benefits, then you end up with absentee landlords like before. It has to be ground-up benefits that go to _residents_ rather than simply owners, but require those same residents to feel the need to invest in sov ownership to get those benefits. It could simply be that high indexes don't benefit the defender enough yet. It could be that ratting/mining/moon income needs to be tied more closely to sov ownership so that residents get a more direct benefit for holding sov (but not absentee landlords!) versus residing in unowned space.

      There are a lot of ideas floating around out there, some of them very good. Hopefully CCP keeps their promise to iterate on the system to refine it. Just don't give up hope after just a week or two. =)

    3. I couldn't agree more. Ground-up profits are an absolute must.

    4. One of the reasons I consider the Anom number increase misguided is that it increased the number of ratters, not the income of the present ratters. A much increased buff for low-end systems could've been guided by increased rat spawns, without buffing high end space so much.

      CCP has created space for more renters, not improved the lot of the present ratters. Perhaps now, there is too much space?

      Rob K.

  3. I noticed the number of fleets have decreased dramatically since Fozziesov. I don't know how people in other time zones feel, but mine TZ is a disaster right now. If I get 2 pings during the whole day, it's a success.

  4. I fully agree with you. Both the lack of returning numbers and the general feeling that fighting for sov is meaningless, is to me a proof that FozzieSov in its current state is a failure.
    No fleets, no players online, no reason to fight and just pirates/bullies who enjoys this gameplay. Yay!

  5. Personally I see great potential for the development of small gang pvp skills and tactics with fozziesov. I really haven't given up on that. And as a relatively young FC for my alliance (and the Imperium) I do like the fact that I get to take out ALL the fleets. Five to fifteen people in a fleet are enough to deal with threats quickly, are formed within 60 seconds and moving within 2 minutes. That part is FUN.
    Now the only thing i'm really missing is an enemy that actually wants to fight. Small gang, large scale, I really don't care. I agree with Tal 100% here, it's a shame that our enemies talked a big game before the patch, but haven't reinforced a single TCU, IHUB or Station yet (I'm looking at you, MOA).

    I hope that as soon as people are a little more comfortable with the new system more content will come up... And until then I will content myself (haha, see what I did there?) with honing my skills in preparation. And coming up with stupid ideas for fleets (check your evemail later today Tal for some content)

    1. I'm just concerned that null ownership will require too much specialization of activity focused around chasing single ships around and grinding indexes. I long for a null ecosystem that has rich, dedicated PvP alliances, and I think the mechanics will slowly turn those folks into carebears exclusively.

  6. For the most part I'd imagine we're having fun since FozzieSov because we were having fun before it happened. For those of us uninterested in sov nul nothing changed, in a way that's a problem of it's own.

    How much of a spike in player activity were you actually expecting? Nul sec resident's are a large section of the player base they certainly deserve dev time. How much dev time is another question entirely, will the rest of EVE be healthy after another year of neglect if FozzieSov needs a years worth of work?

    1. I never bought into the "People are waiting for FozzieSov" argument. It wasn't null players who hated Dominion as much as the content generators - FCs specifically.

      But, then again, the null players who are left are a remnant... and they're the ones who have grown suited to the old system.

      If I was hoping for any return, it'd have been from old players coming back to try Sov again. All the littler fish who got pushed out over the past few years. And hopefully, we'll still see that happen... too soon to tell yet.

      On my end, I was enjoying up to about six weeks ago, when a convergence of a lot of seasonal things dropped content to a low. On a corp level, I fully expect it to rise again once summer's over.

  7. I don't really understand the 'wait for a ping' mentality here, it strikes me as being a little lazy i.e. I'll wait for someone to create some content for me.

    My advice, get 4 or 5 corp mates together and go roaming with an entosis link or go patrol your own space. The age of needing to wait for 100 people to show up before you can do anything meaningful is slowly but surely disappearing.

    1. "Wait for a ping" is really tied to null content, not my content. Null-sec isn't populated with enemies nearby where you can go find them in close proximity to your staging space (and one could very well argue that's a problem of coalitions).

      If I want to go where I know there's action, that's low-sec. And I have been making my way solo over near Saranen and Black Rise FW space. But a lot of my corp, particularly, seem to be taking a break and playing other games. That, in my mind, is a symptom of the larger FozzieSov issues. If content in null was compelling, that wouldn't happen.

  8. Obvious troll post! If you are lacking content, go complain to your leadership representative. Remember, you are responsible for you own content. And there are so many ways to get it. The only content new sov is killing is mindless blob vs. mindless blob and rightfully so. In new sov you matter. You personally matter. Go and ask for a permission to troll entosis someone, somewhere. Get friends. Or pay some Mercs to fuck around in your space and sov test it. And if all else fails, get an alt and BRAVE is recruiting, Test is recruiting, pretty much everyone is recruiting.

    1. All good ideas, and once I'm engaging in. I mentioned I'll go roaming on my own; I'm delighted doing that. We've got low-sec allies I can roam with. I'll go explore WH chains and find hostile space.

      But very little of it resides in null right now, at least where I am. My content isn't the issue; it's the larger trend I'm seeing, along with the general attitude among everyone else that things are great, and among null residents that things are terrible. I find that dichotomy interesting.

  9. 'You’ve both changed. You don’t have the same needs you did.'

    Supposedly being such a vast sandbox it should cater for we change can we find what we want to do now in EVE Online...

    I'm pretty new and finding it difficult to navigate to the stuff I like but am still interested in trying to get day.

    1. Eve really does offer a wide variety. There's always another corp that offers what each of us is looking for at any given time. The challenge is that I don't want to leave the group I'm with for personal and social reasons. They're friends, and flying with "friends" is always better than flying with "fellow corp members".

      When you put down roots, you have to weather the storm.

  10. Talvorian,
    While I appreciate your perspective, I honestly don't know what you expected being in GSF. Youguys are in the Fortress North. Why would anyone come bother you when there are sooooo many other targets to have fun with. I fly with Feign Disorder. We are having an absolute blast in Scalding Pass. We are taking SOV with a 100 man alliance, no blues and an enemy list as big as The Mittani's ego. Every night I log into non stop action from 2300 until I pass out sometime around 0400.

    Spread your wings my friend, get a 12 man faction cruiser gang together and go mess up some peoples night.