Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rambling: The Price of Work

I've never had my own loss mail waved in my face while someone crowed in local that I/we were mad about it. For a moment, just a brief moment, I thought about responding to say "No. Reshipping and coming back is what we do." I then realized that would just be regarded as tears and encourage local smack.

I refrained. After all, I had just lost a Vagabond and full set of +4 to a hotdrop. Explaining that the Vagabond was purchased after the heavy Odyssey rebalance and the Pod +4's two years old and the other implants a random selection for Altaen's birthday roam last year (so that my pod would be expensive if/when I lost it) would not get me anywhere but an accusation of tears, 'you mad' or 'didn't want that anyway'. Sure. I'd prefer to have both my Vagabond and my Pod safe and sound but that isn't how things go sometimes. After all, I had responded to a call for additional help and grabbed the first thing that made sense to support the boys two systems away from our staging system. One never knows how that will go and as Altaen so often says, "That's the price of getting work done."

We have deployed. We are dying a lot. We are killing some things but deaths are racking in at a higher rate then when we live in the Heath. It is the way of things. We have to meet everyone and everything. The lay of the land has to be learned. The tactics and habits of everyone is going to be different and it will take a bit to get our feet under us. I can understand more why some people stay in their home systems. It is nice being top of the food chain all of the time. It also makes you lazy, arrogant, and soft if challenge is removed.

So we are dying. We are reshipping. We are dying some more. Along the way other things are dying. Other things are reshipping and we're settling in. It is hard to explain, perhaps, that while losing ships steadily is frustrating it is also motivating. Not the "losing everything is so much fun!" mantra that I so loathe. More along the push to improve and do better that new situations bring to a PvP corporation. The boys go out to fight constantly and it is what they thrive on. Even the days when the killboard is read and frustration is heavy on coms the general burn and drive is still bright. I cannot think that it would be the same if we were to scold people or hold anyone to some standard of killboard numbers.

Sometimes, it's going to be red.
The other day I sounded snarkier than I meant to sound to Fuzzy Steve (who I actually like a lot) over a comment on ISK Efficiency. I've commented more than once that I hate the constant push and pull over it. If it didn't mean anything to people I don't think ti would come up in conversation as much as it does. Since it comes up as a reference constantly it does mean something to people. And I dislike it because I feel that it is a cloudy measurement if there is any as well as the fact that it is an inhibitor more than anything else. People decide not to take on fights and opportunities because if they die and their efficiency is low someone will point to that, smirk, and/or berate them about it.

In the non-ending discussion of 'how do we treat people' and 'how do we keep people engaged' and all of that it is often said that players in Eve treat each other poorly. Players in Eve treat each other very well at the oddest of times. The community support is amazing. Fuzzy Steve, for instance picked up the Eve Bloggers domain and restarted it without anyone asking him to do it or any other motivation than being a community member and caring. The forums are full of people who help others as much as it is a cesspit of negativity. Any search pulls up dozens if not hundreds of links that give advice and help. The community is not only a negative pit of terrible thing.

However, it is a competitive place in a game with a central focus around engaging other players. Without a preset standard of winning one has been created and things like efficiency and value of a kill are those things. Working out how the defined 'loser' in that case feels isn't really on the table. People want hard numbers that they can point at and criticize and a kill mail is that thing. I can and will continue to dislike it but I'm in a dark corner yelling into the sky.

I'm not sure if it does or does not matter that I am okay with losing my ship. That my corporation is okay with the loss of the ships in our fights. That being okay with losing ships is not the same as welping a fleet or suiciding into anything and everything that happens. To take engagements, to push, to fight, to improve, to make mistakes and recover from them is not a clean process.

We won't always win. And while we'd love to always win we're not so silly as to think that we will. When we don't win we try to learn from it. When we lose things through the process of playing the game we shrug and reship. There is a price to everything. In PvP if is loss. Some attempt to mitigate that more than others but it is a price paid to those who participate in it. And, as with any price, the cost and value of it will range differently for each individual. What is waste. What is value. A hundred different answers for the same group of words.

Such is my cult of opinion on this. It will not be everyone's. It will not even reflect all of my corporations. But, it is my viewpoint on a topic that is important enough that it deserves to be spoken about with honesty. The weight of social opinion is crushing to some. And it is no different than the group in our new, temporary home who called us poor for not raising our security status with tags. They don't know us. They do not know our culture. They can only reflect their own and often times it is a poor, blurred reflection indeed.

3 comments:

  1. Tinfoil: Industrialists have a vested interest in more people engaging things that result in someone losing their ship.

    ReplyDelete
  2. On the topic of the dreaded subject of KB efficiency/ISK efficiency/etc.. and the flip flopping that people seem to do about it. i.e. "look at me I'm 98% efficient. But KB's don't matter lol".

    In perhaps a rather meta observation of this; I think this phenomenon mostly occurs because KB statistics are bullshit and we know it. I could probably write half a book on all the things that are, while perhaps not inherently wrong, inherently misleading. Just as an example of perhaps the most obvious observation is that on most killboards kills/losses are not a zero sum game. i.e. everyone can be a winner. Everyone can have more kills then losses. That doesn't mean k/d ratio's are wrong, but it does mean that they can be misleading.

    However what we can do is look at the data and make generic observations to track "progress" or some vague notion of efficiency. Now I put progress in "airquotes" because to measure you need a metric, and since the "default" metric killboards give us are bullshit, or at the very least not really meaningful, we have to devise our own goals and quantifications which results in a form of cherry picking. So multiple people looking at the same data will get different results from it.

    Which isn't bad, but ultimately leads to a situation where you can't readily compare killboards and measure who's reproductive organ is in fact larger.

    Which is fine, because nobody really cares about other peoples reproductive organs. Well not in this metaphor anyway; But what ultimately matters is just having fun with it. Which we can have. Even if it's just a little bit of ego masturbation.

    Ok this metaphor is getting out of hand so I'm just going to leave it at that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If kb efficiency divided the ISK in kills by number of participants, we'd be approaching a useful statistic. But, would we then also divide the ISK in losses by number of participants?

    ReplyDelete