Monday, January 9, 2012

0.0 Is NOT the End Game of Eve Online (CSM 7 Pt 1)

Today's blog post was going to be about this years Council of Stellar Management elections. However, I need to set the scene first to why I am encouraging "electoral reform". So before I detail how I'd like to see the CSM elected I'm going to get a bit of discussion going with the following controversial statement and supporting arguments....

0.0 Is NOT the End Game of Eve Online, especially for PvP.

It is often said it is, but from my opinion, it is not. Here's some of the reasons why I have come to that conclusion....

0.0 is Generally Carebear Central
I've lived in several areas of null-sec. When moving out there we had fellow low-sec PvP'rs telling us not to. That null-sec PvP was crap. Whilst we listened to the concerns those of us who hadn't done it before wanted to see for ourselves. They were right. NPC 0.0 at least has some small gang and solo PvP. Large Sov Holding null-sec was terrible. You have to roam vast areas of blue territory with only the odd red daring to enter your space.

To get decent PvP you needed 30 jumps to get to someone elses space at which point they were close to home so countered your fleet with superior numbers and reshipped to better hulls leaving you wanting to get podded as you couldn't face the long journey home.

People fall into the Sanctum trap. You log on, no reports of any hostile for 10's of light years. "Well, might as well run some sanctums or chain some belts....." three hours later you've got millions more ISK but no PvP.

I never did, but I would assume you can mine peacefully there. Take a hulk out and sit at a belt watching the intel channel and local. Chances are you'll know of any non-blue 10 jumps out.

Low Sec - There is a lot less carebearing in low-sec than in null-sec. It's easy to get a fight there! Also try mining with a hulk in low-sec. Please..... :)

The Battles Need No Player Skill (Other than the FC)
Yes, epic 0.0 battles are epic. I've been there surrounded by titans and super carriers along with hundreds of battleships. But these battles generally need the PvP skill of a hamster with learning difficulties. You sit on the arse of a titan for three hours, jump in, wait 20 minutes to load grid and then its a massive shin kicking contest. There is no skill involved in these fights. You are called primary and 400 high-alpha BS start locking you up. There is nothing you can do about it, you are dead. Logistics, eWar, tactics, skill points and everything else that requires skill and judgement in sub 100-man fleet fights is out of the window. It's just two big fleets, stood toe to toe, kicking each other in the shins until someone falls over. As has been said in this video review of Eve Online the one with the biggest boots wins.

That's me there! I'm the Abbadon just to the left of.... erm.....

Low Sec - A brilliant tactic, the right eWar ship, the right logistics or just good pilot skills can turn a battle. It's less about the size of the boots and more about skill and tactics.

Sov Capture is Boring
Shooting stationary objects is not fun. And most of the time it's epic blobs of Titans and supers leading to a shin kicking contest and the gaming skills of that special hamster again.

Low Sec (Faction War) - The end is the same, shooting a stationary object (control bunker). However to get to that stage you need to capture plex's and you get 1v1 and small gang PvP there.

The Majority of 0.0 Alliances Are PvP Fail
We too used to think that 0.0 was the Eve "End Game". That those who inhabit those dark reaches of space are uber Eve players and would destroy our puny corporation with a sideways glance and a sneer. No. Our first big taste was when an alliance I had real-life mates in needed some help. They freely admitted they were mainly carebears so couldn't cope with the aggression of TWO neighboring 0.0 alliances. We moved a few ships down there to help.... and both target alliances failscaded within a couple of weeks. The first battle was a nice 20 v 20 (so you can occasionally get good fights in 0.0) resulted in a 20-1 win for us. After that we hunted them down and spent most of our time deleting surrender mails from Eve Mail. We never did get a second fleet fight though and had to make do with one's and two's. Our further experience in both NPC and Sov Holding Null were similar. Decent PvP'rs are hard to find in 0.0!

Low Sec - Most corps that live full-time in low-sec are PvP corps. A standard run-of-the-mill null-sec alliance has trouble dealing with an experienced low-sec PvP corp.

Null sec requires a lot more time, energy and effort than low sec. No doubt about that. You have got to have some serious play time to make your alliance or corp do well in 0.0. But those who say null sec is the end game of Eve Online are wrong. The majority of players, corps and alliances in 0.0 are no better or worse than low-sec or high-sec.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not having a go at 0.0 and some of the best Eve players inhabit that space... but also some of the worse.

There is no "end game" in Eve Online because it is a sandbox and not a single game. Is the end game for an industrialist to be building titans? Is the end game for a pirate to be number one on Battleclinic? Is the end game for a miner to be known as "Mini-Cribba"?

Eve is huge, varied and always changing. There is no end game and there is no "average Eve Online player". We all do, and want, different things out of the game. So can a CSM, elected with a perceived heavy 0.0 bias, represent the majority of Eve Online players when it's questionable if there is a majority in the first place?

Well perhaps we could change things..... Soon(tm)......

EDIT - As I post this I see this entry at the top of the blog pack -



  1. Well said. That has been my general experience with Null/Low as well. Nothing against those that choose to live in Null, I've enjoyed my time there in the past and I'm sure I'll end up there again at some point. But mostly it is mind-numbing, tedious and time-consuming.

  2. "So can a CSM, elected with a perceived heavy 0.0 bias, represent the majority of Eve Online players when it's questionable if there is a majority in the first place?"
    CSM6 answered with a resounding YES. Whatever your feelings are about The Mittani and the current CSM's contributions to Crucible, everyone got something from it...a LOT of something. EVE was very broken and this CSM pursued many of the worst issues regardless of what playerbase it affected most; although they did push their own nullsec agenda, also. I suppose the question is whether future CSMs will continue this trend.

    On your other topic, I agree 0.0 is not the endgame for everyone. It certainly isn't for market traders. I believe it is for miners. It can be for industrialists. Our corp/alliance has many borders with NPC null and lowsec. For our pvp corps, it is endgame to have easy access to any size gang PvP with a large pool of members available and full ship replacement programs. No grinding rats or plexes or incursions to afford ships. Location is obviously very important for this. We have sov warfare for average of two weeks per year, which isn't much to ask IMHO for all the benefits. It did take several trials to find an alliance that fit my playstyle, but I now refuse to play anywhere but null.

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with you Drack, my null-sec experiences have been very similar to yours. I think there is fun to be had in sov-war null, but it's the guys at the top that are getting the satisfying experience and even then only with a lot of work.

    The rank-and-file are just required to be obedient sheep and the job of the leaders is keeping their flock entertained so they enjoy their sheep status. I think the key there is to have an engaging social aspect to voice-comms as well as in-game activities.

    I agree with Mordis, the primarily null-sec composition of the CSM was not a barrier to them delivering the goods for all players. In fact, perhaps their null-sec experience - being organised and working cohesively - has been a benefit.

    If, as I suspect may be the case, CCP forces future CSM organisation toward an equal representation model, this may make the CSM less effective as it may be harder to achieve a quorum. That said, if a null-sec CSM can represent the interests of all players, this should be no different for any future CSM, regardless of composition.

  4. Amen.

    I'd like to add one more thing, unless you want to run high end exploration or build super caps or mine high end ore (all 'carebear' activities) there's no reason at all to hold SOV.
    Because everything else can be done anywhere else in EVE. I've often found my self puzzled as to why hardcore PvP'ers bother to fight over SOV nullsec at all?
    There's really nothing there for them unless they really like the massive fleet battles which as you point out quite correctly have nothing to do with any PvP skill beyond the FC & XO's.