Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Rambling: Rambling

Emerging from the many days of fever, I remembered that I had something to write about on Thursday. I noticed a comment on Twitter that would have been shocking if I had not understood it. It was about awoxing a poorly fit ship of a corpmates. Made in jest the underlying commentary is that doing something wrong or embarrassing is corrected with decisive action. In this case destruction. The same goes for people who fit overly expensive things. In the end, we will just kill them ourselves and they will learn to fit better.

Fitting in Eve is already quite the intuitive science. I've complained that the items you receive in loot are not the items that you should use. The area of space that you hunt in may not give you items that you can use. And then there is the next level. Fitting and flying the best things in the game is often a bad idea.

I love Sleipnirs. I've dubbed them XL Jaguars. While more ponderous then they once where, Sleipnir are sleek, beautiful machines. I don't care that the combat meta is focused on armor tanks and hit points. The Sleipnir is a dangerous beast. I should be glad to undock it and take it into combat. But, I'm not.

When I land on grid in a Sleipnir I change the entire equation. Not to a 'holy fuck run' equation like I would wish for. Instead, it becomes a, "It is worth it to lose everything to take this ship down." I am going to lose my beautiful, vicious boat because it is expensive and a prize to kill. That is an unintuitive thing about Eve.

Don't fit expensive. And then, if you do, your own friends may kill you and then tell you it is for your own good or the health of the killboard. It is such a strange phenomenon when looked at from a few steps back. Don't fly what you can't afford to lose but don't fly the best that you can afford. That is, unless you have earned the right. If you have earned the right you can fly what you want. But you may have to be a soloists because even if you have earned the right others will not want to be attached to your loss. Unless it was to kill you.

"What was he thinking?" they ask. Well he was thinking that the items he got were the best. It turns out that isn't how you fit things in Eve. It is that awkward sideways learning curve that leaves so much to do and learn.

And so we learn not to fly things. I was terrified to fly a pirate frigate for a long time. Not because I could not afford them. I've been reasonably wealthy for a very long time. My finical status does matter in this thought process. But, it would be like undocking my Sleipnir. No longer would the fight be about fighting. It would become a focus on killing the most expensive things on the field.

Such is the emergence of the ISK war side of things. Another thing I consider unintuitive. "I'm sorry but you fought a great fight against huge odds and did amazing things but you are a looooooossseerrrrr because the other twenty ships that it took to take you down cost less."

Its weird. That is what makes it hard to learn. It has to be learned. Ugh. I wrote myself into a circle. Damn it. I can wave my hands at freedom of the individual and such things and not caring about what other people do or say or want but none of that is the point. It rolls back to what we learn and how we learn it. How odd it seems to me that one shouldn't strive for the best but instead this interestingly balanced point in the middle that creates an equal chance of winning or losing at a particular loss that is calculated to not be but so much more than the potential of the target despite individual asset wealth unless...

29 comments:

  1. This kinda ties into a soap box issue I have. Killboards are wrong. They are absolutely, 100%, positively wrong. The idea of a killboard is fine. The mathematics of how we assign value to a kill on a killboard is broken. I like nice numbers that make sense, it drives me crazy.

    It also drives to this sort of thing in a way. If everyone's numbers are artificially inflated, which they are, then we don't have a true metric of what actually makes sense to fly or what not to fly. Your Sleipnirs example shouldn't make sense to kill if they lose everything in the process from a pure killboard efficiency. But in the mathematics of Eve, it does. And that doesn't even touch on the actual money war which may or may not be being fought.

    It hit the point years ago that any time someone mentions killboards a part of my brain slots them into a unflattering pigeon hole. I know it's not correct for me to do that to a large swath of the Eve population, but I just can't help it.

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    1. I'm not a big fan of Gevlon, but what he does by "de-whoring" the killboard stats he gets is absoulutly right. This individual pilot didn't destroy the sleipnir solo but still it accounts to his "destroyed value" as he was solo.

      And free speech is important but comemnts on killboards are not. Everywhere you look there is someone calling the loser a moron without knowing anything about the context of that battle.

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    2. You guys are on the right track. The tricky part about assigning proportional value for kills instead of full value to everyone on the mail is determining who gets what value. The initial tackle may have to warp off quickly and do little damage, but could be the key to the kill.

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    3. You guys are on the right track. The tricky part about assigning proportional value for kills instead of full value to everyone on the mail is determining who gets what value. The initial tackle may have to warp off quickly and do little damage, but could be the key to the kill.

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    4. Last time I thought about it was to do away with the idea of a global killboard efficiency, and instead do it in tiers. Small, medium, large, and fleet; with a few subtiers in each. Then give everyone a seperate ranking in all categories. Eve is so big and weird that you can't really have one true number that accurately reflects how good or bad someone is. So instead just break it all into clustered subgroups and you can fiddle with the equation of each till you get a nice data plot that makes sense for that type of gameplay

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    5. simple: look at it as a team. all this 53 pilots made this kill happen no matter if they tackled or did top damage. all of them earned 1/53 of the value.

      taking a shot at that blue guy to split the value further may happen but isn't such a big problem. first its a blue kill you get related to. second in a good fight you don't have the time for that and the dead titan isn't that comon and still blue.

      oh and add logies and boosters ;-)

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  2. It's sadly extremely common, but it's also not all pervasive. There's PvP groups out there who when on grid really do primary things based on threat level to their own gang and not on ISK :)

    If I'm out in kiting ships you're Sleipnir is going to get ignored until that Huginn & Curse and all the light tackle are dead, cause an AC Sleipnir isn't that scary at that time.

    I'll probably get some flak for saying this, but in my experience people who measure success in ISK efficiency tend to not be all that good at PvP...

    All a 99% ISK efficiency with a 30:1 win loss ratio tells me is that you're probably fairly risk averse and as such don't get a lot of practice turning fights around or in self reliance.

    And in many cases the metric even if inflated (like Halycon points out - if you kill a 2 billion archon with 20 people they should all have 100 mill added to their efficiency not 2 bil imho) doesn't even make sense you can theoretically win a SOV war with 1% ISK effiency.

    A lot of feeling a bout kills and killboards are wholly subjective though. I get a kick out of fighting outnumbered if that results in expensive losses sometimes, meh so be it. But that attitude is only available to me because I don't get attached to my ships which isn't true of everyone (and it's fine to get attached to things, I get attached to things in EVE too, just not ships). And I couldn't care less what people think of my killboard as long as I had fun in the production of it.
    On the other side of that I can totally understand that "professional" gate campers consider efficiency a valid metric.
    Eye of the beholder and all that, I'll stop rambling now :P

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  3. ISK efficiency is only important during a war. Period.

    It's also only meaningful if the resources of both sides are known.

    I once fought in a war against PL. They brought battleships, we brought hurricanes. Even when we lost a battle, we were winning because losing 30-40 hurricanes taking out a similar number of battleships meant our ISK efficiency was so much better.

    The only problem was, we were under so much pressure that we couldn't reliably make money. Pilots were bleeding ISK and it got difficult to even afford hurricanes. Even though PL lost more in terms of ISK, they had much deeper pockets.

    When I fight with the group I fly with now, bling isn't a target, it's threat level. In my opinion, that's how it should always be, but, sadly, more than a few killboard mavens treat the game like some sort of MOBA game.

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  4. Does this mean that ISK efficiency is simply a byproduct of how the first players implemented the killboard system and people are dictating huge swaths of gameplay by the random choice made by a handful of people a decade or so ago?

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    2. I wouldn't say ISK efficiency was random choice. It is one way to keep score and for many purposes a pretty good one. That said, any particular player or group of players are under no obligation to *accept* that scorekeeping method. Because something happens to be tracked doesn't mean it must matter equally to everybody.

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    3. If you really want to know about all that you're probably in the only position to get a real Inside Baseball perspective on it. CCP has spent a lot of effort over the last few years on Killboards. Killmails, but really, it's Killboards. I'd sign an NDA today if it meant I got to ask the usual suspects that show up on pushing Killmail changes about what they really think about how Killboards drive content and why. Because CCP wouldn't be doing it if they didn't think it drove content somehow. It wouldn't make business sense.

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    4. Re-reading that, it makes it sound like I think there's a shady conspiracy. I don't. I'd just really like to know what CCP thinks on the state of killboards and how it truly interacts with pushing content. Not a catch all "we know you like killmails!" or "We like seeing tools out on the web made with our data!" line. But to actually know what they thought about this one specific thing.

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    5. In business, the law of measurement states that once you start measuring a number you start opyimizing to make the number "better," whether or not it's healthy for the overall system and regardless of the original intent of the measurement. Many corporations have floundered and failed because of this tendency. Many programmer hours have been wasted squeezing the last bit of optimization out of code that has an imperceptible effect on overall performance.

      No matter what metric you add and no matter why, you'll eventually have people obsessing over the number. It's just human nature.

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  5. It’s a conundrum. If CCP retains and publishes thorough space combat records it’s then possible to ‘keep score’. If it’s possible to keep score many people will compete. When people compete some will boast and belittle while others find that boasting and belittling frustratingly toxic and horizon limiting.

    That said, I’m not certain there’s a better alternative for CCP. I’m told Eve is a game where loss matters. This means, for wealthy Killboard attentive scorekeeping pilots what matters about shiny ship loss is not the effort required replacing the boat but rather the record of the loss itself. One could say in this situation the system continues to function as intended with the added benefit of allowing players to paint a target on their backs if they so choose (possibly motivated by a desire to flauntingly dismiss shiny ship based scorekeeping or, maybe, simply acting as bait).

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    1. But to many, including me, it's not the scalp (if you'll forgive me the metaphor) that matters. It's the hunt and/or the fight. Basically I play EVE in "arcade mode". In fact that I think players that play just for the scalp are playing a different game from me, paths may cross buy we aren't playing the same game at all.

      CCP's stuff about how loss matters is highly subjective once again, I'm a 2008 pilot with the space wealth to fly the very largest ships in game if I so desired, yet I don't really enjoy flying anything larger then a cruiser so economic loss matters very little to me, I could keep losing cruisers and frigates for literally decades at this point and it wouldn't sting vOv

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    2. Every bit of your elaboration is spot on Kaeda and may help explain why CCP refuses to maintain Killboards - they specifically don't want the impossible responsibility of score keeping. Almost as if they were saying, "It's a sandbox, you figure out what it means."

      I suspect when CCP started out 'loss matters' was probably intended to mean something like 'loss stings' but, interestingly, it doesn't have to mean that and I wouldn't be surprised if CCP would fudge a little these days if pressed and reinterpret 'loss matters' simply to mean 'loss produces consequences'. In your case that means some lucky industrialist gets the honor of building you or your opponent's replacement boat. Being primarily an industrialist myself, it's a happy day. \o/

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    3. Well, and what are you keeping score of? If a freighter pilot is skilled enough to evade active hunters while taking a lowsec shortcut and reach their destination within the agreed time on the contract, the only record of that is a contract completion. If a market player successfully freezes a competitor out of their station, they only have the transaction record. Killboards are an import from games where the whole point is killing the other team. In EVE, they're essentially arbitrary, but useful, intel on pilots and ship fits.

      And, I suppose, they're security blankets for people who treat EVE like any other shooter, which it's a big enough game to accommodate.

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    4. You might dismiss that contract completion as a "record", but I think you're treating it too lightly. I know a super-carrier pilot that was *extremely* frustrated that I'd scuffed his perfect record as a deliverer of JF services. It was my (noob) mistake, but it had (to him) a gigantic meaning. It proved he was trustworthy, reliable, and always on time.

      It may have effected his incursion running, it may have effected his position in his alliance. I don't know. I do know that he still brings it up when we talk!

      The moral of the story is, things might only be records, but they're still *a* record. They show you what kind of pilot you are. Kill-boards are just another example of that.

      Rob K.

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  6. I mostly fly tech1 hulls as a part of my policy of staying under the radar. Logi and covert-ops being the exception to the rule.

    I would prefer it that KM only display a hull and date - full stop. The common use of humiliation for KMs is not really something the marketing boys can use in a glossy. It just cements the view of sadistic nature that the rest of the gaming community views of Eve.

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    1. From my own (anecdotal) experience in other gaming communities that's not really how EVE is seen. Most people don't know much about it beyond it's that space ship game, isn't it the one with the big fights? Or they tried it and found it to complex and/or didn't really know what to do.

      So far I've never ran into another group of people in another game who went; 'Isn't that, that game full of horrible people'. In my experience EVE players aren't all that sadistic, I also play League of Legends and that community is FAR more toxic then EVE's for example.

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    2. You're right, Kaeda. All of this is anecdotal. I have met people in other games who have tried Eve and left because it was way too tough to get started. I've also met a few who left because they lost assets to griefers.

      The ones who found it simply difficult had moved on and found other interests. In their cases, all that stuff about 'you never really quit Eve, you always come back,' is wrong. The ones who died to griefers are the ones who dismiss Eve as a sociopath's playground. They're gone forever as well.

      Either way, CCP gets one shot at a new customer. Retention rates aren't great if you trust the statistics people throw around in public. Sometimes it's Eve's fault, and sometimes it's the other players' fault.

      Anecdotal for sure.

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    3. Since CCP has been less then forthcoming in recent years with statistics, anecdotal evidence is sadly pretty much all we have to go on at this point!

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    4. An Anecdotal, but I vividly recall when Jester accounted through game reviewing in Steam. Those for Eve were unflattering to say the least.

      But personally having experience with social bridge and chess (and others) post game analysis is constructive. The sacrifice, the brilliance or tantacity are celebrated and upheld as inspiration. Compare that to how often losses in Eve held up for ridicule or revile?

      It is of course just another tool in kit which CCP provides. But it rare to see it used for education. Thus will I condemn it and prefer its simplification.

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    5. Jester was arguing a point so it's safe to assume any reviews he highlighted were geared towards supporting his narrative.

      Also I far more often look at killmails of other PvP's that I respect to try and gleam some insight from them then that I get a mill linked to me because it's 'funny'. And I'd say that is similar to constructive post game analysis in the same way going through a chess game in the newspaper is to gleam some insight from that.

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    6. I don't want to imply anything, but if you're seeing killmails only for the "God, wasn't he stupid" aspect, you may not be hanging out with the right people.

      I'll admit, I've done it myself, but I reflect on the "look at all the nice ISK he brought me" aspect as well. Unless it is a truly bizarre fail-fit, and then I'll look, sometimes laugh, and forget about it. People who get hung up about "Why is your fit so shit", unless they're doing it constructively, should move on.

      To use some anecdotal evidence (the best kind :P), the loss and kill mails I've posted in Sugar's channel are often a topic of discussion. (That they're my own is another matter!)

      Using loss-mails can be a great exercise in teaching principles over hard facts. That my Comet fit is *bad* is at once obvious and useless to me. That it has a limited engagement profile, and limited damage application is much more useful.

      So I'd have to say that limiting them to "hull and date" would make it harder for me to learn, and harder for others to teach me. I'd end up less engaged and more frustrated, and thus more likely to quit.

      And that is something EvE doesn't want.

      Rob K.

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  7. We often talk about building sandcastles in EVE and the killboard is mine. It gives meaning to the chaotic mess of the sandbox, a purpose in the game and a sense of achievement as I slowly watch it grow.

    In a game where nearly everything is just a resource that is easily acquired in order to be spent, my killboard is something permanent. It is a catalogue of my successes and failures.

    Individual kills and losses are meaningful but the overall statistics are far less useful. High efficiency is just as likely an indication of risk aversion or shrewd fitting choices as skill. I think that most comparison is rendered worthless because the value of a kill is duplicated across all parties rather than split.

    Adjusting your behaviour to protect your killboard stats, rather than have more fun or improve as a player, seems self-defeating to me. The only person who cares about my killboard, is me.

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