Although Inferno has made some long awaited changes to the way wardeccs work, making them a bit more engaging for both sides, and there’s a much needed change to the pricing of war deccs, the old truth still seems to be predominant.
That is, that if you reside in high security space, then you probably want to be part of a corp in order to avoid the 13% tax rate. but not a too large a corp. If your corp gets too large than you probably want to join an alliance, but not too large an alliance. To be too large is to attract too much attention, and to attract to much attention is to become a potential target for war deccs.
Now let’s make this perfectly clear right now. Most people that reside solely in high security space are not pvp pilots. Most of them have had virtually no pvp experience, and what little they have mostly involves them getting unceremoniously slaughtered by losec pirates, by suicide gankers, by war deccers, by ninja salvagers, by everything under the sun.
Of course the prevailing opinion in EVE is that somehow there is only one type of “proper” player, and that is of the elite pvper. That is the truth which nullsec has been shouting at us in their Risk vs Reward debat, and that is the truth they have trying to enforce in various griefing corps like James315’s New Order and so on. The Old Goon “War on Fun” strategy, and I have to admit it’s with some satisfaction that I’ve been watching TEST and Pals mobilising their “Come Join us killing Goons strategy” But let’s really talk about this.
PVP is not technically hard. Compared to games like DOTA and Star Craft, the technical aspect of EVE is actually quite simple, (and by this i mean the act of piloting a ship) However it’s not the technical aspect of EVE that is challenging, but the meta and interpersonal aspect. Your PVP experience is determined by the quality of your community. It is determined by how well they work together, how dedicated they are, but also by the quality of their intel network, and the experience and quality of their FCs and local PVP mentors in general.
It is not hard to put a Missioner in a PVP ship- he probably has the skills, and to tell him how to sucessfully fly a rifter- about the most complex type of pvp ship you can fly (the larger you get, the less there is to think about), and teach him how to fly it properly in the space of an afternoon.
Of course, that does not teach the bear how to work in a fleet, how the greater pvp system works, or the actual mechanics of losec. The second trumps the first. Victory in EVE does not go to the best technical pilot, the one best able to manipulate his ship to do the most damage, but the one that can chose his own ground to the greatest advantage, and this is entirely dependant on the Meta game rather than the in game one.
I’ll draw upon a personal ancedote. For two jumps, a Taranis and my Wolf had been circling each other, neither wishing to engage the other under guns. Eventually i baited him out to a belt, then successfully tackled him. If that had continued as a solo fight, it would have been close, but the wolf probably would have carried the day.
This is the point of course that an ally in a Falcon dropped in 100km away and proceded to Jam me to hell and back. The rest was application of DPS.
I’m not saying that this kill was anything but entirely well done. It was an excellent move by the Taranis pilot and his Corp mate, and i take my hat off to him. However it does highlight the problem.
In order for a hisec corp to successfully mobilise against a vastly more experienced and better equipped foe, they need to be willing to spend large amounts of training time, ISK, and the pyschological shock of getting thrashed many, many times, and still hold together to eventually become a worthy opponent.
This has happened, and happened surprisingly well. Northern Coalition managed it back years ago, proving that “bears can grow teeth”. There is no inherent psychological division between “a bear” and the elite pvpers that we are told are virtually another subspecies. The simple fact is that when given sufficient drive, any player in EVE can make a pvp pilot, especially in fleet warfare. The problem is the motivation- you need to put in blood, sweat and tears.
Unsurprisingly, most people are not prepared to do this. I don’t say most bears, i mean most people period. I was one of those who actually liked PVP even if they got thrashed. Most of the people I play with don’t cut that way.
Faced with the choice of attempting to turn a highsec mission/mining corp into a combat machine, and individual players just clicking the “leave corp” button is fairly obvious.
This is the reason why the “big three” in highsec- EVE Uni, Brave Noobies, and RvB are all pvp focused. RvB is exclusively nothing else, the only true “pure pvp” entity in EVE in my opinion. EVE Uni is a hold over from the extremely early days of EVE, run by some very experienced players, and funded by some very wealthy Alumni. And of course Brave Noobies is an external community born on Reddit.
And those are the entities that dominate EVE. Not the native communities to EVE, but External Communities that have come from Reddit and other places. Goonswarm comes to mind.
Even those that do need to look a lot more like the predator than the prey in order to survive as a large entity in highsec.
And at this point, we need to ask- Should this be the case?
At the moment, the War Dec System imposes a “soft cap” on the size and complexity of all but the afore mentioned alliances, which are definitely exceptional cases. War Decs penalise large alliances, so they stay small. The only Alliances that can grow large in highsec space are ones with a pvp focus, and large pvp alliances have no role in highsec.
The only exceptions are external communities which can bring in a lot of dedicated people. And these are the entities which dominate the game.
The “natural” progression of corps is meant to be Highsec Corp that grows large, founds/joins and alliance, develops that alliance to the point where it’s large enough to move out into losec, where it may join factional warfare or a wormhole where it then has it’s own go at POS logistics and self sufficiency.
If successful, after a year or two, they’ll head out into the ocean of Nullsec. and join the antics of Sov warfare. This is the recent transition Fweddit has made, and the transition Brave Noobies are making.
Except hardly any of these corps have their origins in Highsec PVE. Hardly any of them have their origins in highsec at all. This, rather than any “RISK vs REWARD” problem is why most bears stay in highsec. Not because they don’t want to go out and experience what else the game has to offer necessarily, but rather because they don’t want to leave their friends behind and join a new community to do so.
Which leads us to the question.
Should the present system be changed to encourage much larger Highsec alliance structures rather than smaller ones?
I think it should. The best way to play highsec from a pragmatic point of view shouldn’t be in a corp of one. I think rather than attempting to grind Hisec players into the ground, CPP should be rewarding larger PVE alliances. Not because i necessarily love PVE, but rather I think that the game should always reward Players who stand united rather than divided, in any field. It will take a substantial amount of new content to change the current equilibrium. It isn’t simply enough to make fighting wars against larger alliances more expensive, you also need to offer greater incentive for these larger Alliances to form in the first place.
Currently, the Alliance mechanic is only really useful in Nullsec, where it’s necessary for Sov. Ironically the only real use the Alliance mechanic has for prgamatic rather than sentimental reasons in highsec is as a War Dec shield. What if we changed that? What if like Nullsec, having your alliance build up a presence in systems through activity and unlock exclusive benefits and content- Alliance only lv 4.5 difficulty missions or so on, multiplayer missions that require substantial player support.
Alternatively mining allows for far better refinery rates (which would be revamped to support the new system) and for bonus “mining mission” agents that grant access to high value ores that normally can’t be acquired in highsec.
I can already hear the cries now. “So kind of like a WOW Raid?” and “Theme park promoter!”, and a whole lot of rage from Nullsec. Let’s take a step back for a second, becuase there’s a little something most people forget.
A buff to PVE is a buff to PVP. After years of this “them vs us” mentality, most nullsec corps forget that the money for their ships comes from PVE- well unless you happen to have moons, where it basically turns into PVN (or Player vs Nothing). If missioners make twice as much money, that means that there’s twice as much as missioners to throw around in experiments in PVP, and therefore more money for professional pirates to grab off their wrecks.
This is why i haven’t understood the attempts by the pvp community to nerf PVE into the ground. If there is no money being made in PVE, and if it is unviable, then no one has enough money to splash on luxuries such as consensual pvp that guys like Rixx love so much.
And if these “large” highsec alliances become a thing, that means that there will be an established community of players to begin introducing the bears to pvp through losec roams, WH dives, Incursion fleets entirely of Alliance members. Eventually such alliances could move out to Nullsec.
After all, Mitten’s needs miners willing to mine enough Veldspar to keep Nullsec self sufficient right? that certainly seems to be the gist of their clucking over Farms and Field and Risk Vs Reward. Unless large PVE organisations become viable again after the fall of NC, that won’t happen, especially if nullsec is seen as someone who constantly wants to degrade Highsec’s quality of life.
When talking about EVE, and highsec, it’s not a nerf it needs, but a buff. Not just an increase to profits, but an increase in the possible level of complexity of play. All different types of play are valid, and this recent campaign by nullsec to try and enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else should be discouraged.
I’d like to see larger, more immersive highsec alliances.