Monday, June 2, 2014

All In

Disclaimer: As with any idea this one is prefaced with the fact that it probably very bad. Im going to indulge anyway. I will add a secondary disclaimer that this is just my day dreams and not anything to do with the CSM.

Some of my thoughts of late have held a very growly undertone. I find that I take the concept of defending things seriously. It is somewhat amusing because I'm rather non-aggressive in game. I hate station games. I don't feel the need to camp anything or anyone. I don't hold grudges towards people and standings are pretty much a meaningless to me. Everyone who is not my corporation is neutral and all neutral people may attempt to kill you. It's a simple life.

7-2 is a small corporation and while we may try to punch above our weight class nothing changed the fact that we are a small corporation. At times that is painfully obvious. No amount of aggression will change the fact that we have only a handful of people to put on grid. Vov often rages that there needs to be a way for a small group to attack a large group. While, game play wise that will be better there has to be some balance. There is an advantage to being a large group. Like it or not it is there and it is real. To give a small group an advantage against the large one simply for being small doesn't work. But the disadvantages of being a small group are many. I also don't think that we should inherently encourage everyone to move to a large group. I play together with twenty or so people. Other's play with two hundred. I don't think the goal should be to point everyone to playing with two thousand.

However, numbers are real and counters to numbers must be reasonable. They also must not automatically create a more dominating environment for the numbers. The last blog banter set me off on a true frothing defense. I don't like the assumption that if this group wants this they will just get it. Even if that assumption is true I won't give into it before the battle has been fought.

It isn't that I have never lost. I have. It tastes pretty bad. I have had more successes than failures in Eve. But I have had failures. And that is the nature of it. I'd not have it any other way. But, a common question for those in my position are how do we fight back against those that are larger than us? The simple nature of the equation is that being larger is their 'I Win' button. When their small fleet is two hundred people and mine is five, the two hundred will win by simple logic.

And then I thought, "What would you give to create a chance of taking down that ship. No guaranties. No absolutes. Just a chance. A roll of the dice that if it worked, everything could change. Would you give everything?"

Now and then people ask about explosion rigs or modules. The ultimate, "fuck you" button. Something where the ship is rigged for destruction. Be it a module or a rig or even an item carried in your cargo it would destroy everything.

On one side that type of thing is cool. There are few things more satisfying then flipping someone off in that last instant. You may not win the battle but you took everything down with you. On the other hand, as someone who excitedly loots wrecks, its an absolutely horrible thought for everything to go like that. Currently there is a random chance on everything that drops. Taking away that random chance sucks. At the same time, as often as I see people not loot wrecks, one does wonder the consequences.

How far would we go to defend from someone or screw over another. Would we gimp a fit to screw over an enemy by destroying out wreck? And how far is far? The proliferation of suicide ganking has made the giving everything aspect of loss cheap. Losing your ship means little.

But your pod?

Your shiny pirate battleship?

If you were to rig your freighter to explode if you found yourself on the losing end of a gank where your entire cargo burned and you also lost your pod?

If a battleship could detonate its warp core and create an area effect that takes your pod with it? Would you say goodbye to your bling fit Vindicator and plow it into a Nyx on a chance?

If you could turn ships into missiles against supers, titans, and carriers at the loss of the ship, everything in it, and the pod, would you? If you had a chance at a super that had hot dropped you and it would involve turning your battleship and plowing it into the super, damaging it so that maybe it couldn't just jump back out, losing your ship and your pod in the process, would you do it?

To not look at more DPS or another module. To not think of nerfing or restrictions when it comes to problem solving but to give people that chance to say yes, we'll throw ourselves and our ships into it to fight this fight. We will weaponize ourselves if it creates a possibility of a different outcome... a chance of a different outcome.

There are of course balance questions. How do we make sure the hulls are not just empty. Are empty pods worth anything? Yes, no, maybe?

If it wasn't something that could instantly be gamed, min/maxed, and worked into the lowest risk possible but a true moment of choice as one blindly grabs for that opportunity with no guaranty of an outcome? If the cyno opens and you are the only one on grid who can destabilize your warpcore and maybe... just maybe... create an instant of opportunity at the loss of everything...

If that freighter target for the gank could potentially take down the gank fleet and his entire cargo as well as himself and his pod if you didn't kill him fast enough... Would you still try it?

Or would we back peddle from our own bravado? Clutching our implants close and our faction fitted ships closer. No guaranties. Is it worth it? Would you reject an idea if it meant you might lose your super? Would money truly not matter if the opportunity would change the course of a fight?

Would you try?


16 comments:

  1. Hi Sugar,

    This is something I wrote some time ago that touches on this very subject. I couldn't get the sums to work because of the difference between the various ships and alphas... perhaps smarter minds...?

    http://aggressivelogistics.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/the-sacrifice/

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  2. I've always thought that it would be very New Eden if you could have sitting in your cargo that is being looted little surprises for the ganker things that go boom when it's placed in the cargo bay that would in some cases blow them to heck in others take their hull to 0 and 50% armour and offline shields...or if you want to engage in the fine art of can flipping or just can looting how about a can that explodes when tampered with by non corp/alliance members..... just an idea from a bittervet carebear

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    1. If only area effects were not so bad :(

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  3. Once upon a time when a pilot self destructed a ship no kill mail was generated. If I remember correctly, it also used to be that self destruction left no loot drop. This occasionally led to a race between hunter and prey wherein the prey would click self destruct thereby requiring the hunter to hurry up and finish the murder before losing everything. Things were eventually changed if for no other reason than that you weren’t changing the outcome of the encounter, only the bookkeeping results.

    It’s very difficult to “module” or “technique” small group / large group competitive parity since the large groups can partake of the same modules and techniques with the added benefit of being able to partake more often (being a large group with deep pockets). The only real option seems to be creating environments that limit engagement size which already exists (parts of faction warfare and worm holes).

    I understand the desire to engage a larger enemy in a competitive manner but when doing so one ought to admit that it’s unrealistic to expect to be able to do so on their playground using their tools. In other words, if you’re a gnat, embrace being a gnat. No gnat’s taking down a water buffalo but it can irritate the hell out of it. (I believe this is one purpose of the revamped interceptors and the ever present cloaky boats.)

    If you can’t muscle your way into a desirable situation there’s always negotiation. In an MMO that emphasizes player interaction it seems a reasonable option to expect players to pursue.

    DireNecessity

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    1. Sure there is. But I don't want to negotiation. I want destruction. The worst experience in my Eve career has been being surrounded by a sea of blues in all directions. It was god awful.

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  4. Ishtanchuk FazmaraiJune 2, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    The natural use of kamikaze ships would be that the side with more ships would sacrifice some of them to wipe out the side with less ships. vov

    The main advantages that small groups have over large groups are mobility, stealth and local superiority.

    EVE just negates all of them, and any mechanic advantage provided to smaller groups would be used by larger groups who could split themselves in smaller groups and still outnumber, as a whole, the side with less ships.

    FAI, if a mechanic set a max fleet size of n, a side would bring n ships and the other side could bring 3x(n-1) fleets. If those 3x(n-1) fleets were mutually neutral, but still coordinated out of game, no ingame mechanic would stop them from stomping the single n-sized fleet.

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    1. One thing to consider is this: the relative value of the ships. If you're taking out something expensive with something cheap, then all the better.

      And only the larger alliances have numbers of the really expensive stuff....

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    2. Shhhh... we're not talking balance or sense, just raw rebellion.

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  5. Replies
    1. I'm not surprised you liked this. :P

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  6. I love this idea -- in theory. If they could make it work in such a way that it'd stay true to its kamikaze, all in principles, it'd be awesome, but so many things in this game end up being upside-down that I hope CCP would run some serious use cases to shake out any immersion-breaking silliness before they turn it loose.

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    1. It would get muted down, sure. It is the reactions I'm curious about for now.

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  7. That actually gave me chills. Would I do it? if all hope were lost to the last man we will fight. to go into the maw of the abyss shouting for one last hope of salvation, to give that last full measure? Yes. For that one last moment to either shout in the face of the enemy that I may not win, but neither will you? yes. to possibly be that saving throw, sacrificing it all so that my comrades may live to fight another day? yes. Hell I think there are times that people would give SP freely to possibly turn the tide of battle. That is the only real consequence of any merit to someone like us. ships are isk, that can be made or bought in amounts that make the Noble thought of sacrificing pod and ship almost meaningless when you take a step back, but knowing that you would have to relearn skills. knowing that from an ingame aspect that you would be damaging not just your clone, but that the feedback would take part of you with it.... it would be a heavy choice to make, but people would. If only for that chance to look into the maw of the abyss and in one last act of defiance inflict the most damage you could.

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  8. I would foresee alt-ism - cheap alts in kamikaze rookie ships.

    But that cyno ship you just spotted - would you dare to attack it?

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