Monday, January 28, 2013

Oh look Gevlon's making more terrible arguments

Honestly I am not sure why Eve News 24 ever extended the offer to Gevlon to become one of their writers. He already has his own near cult like following, his opinions might have been valid in the analysis of trade, but now. No.

The other day I was thinking about why the whole "New Order" thing is just another instance of exploiters and pirates plying their trade. Why their noble quest is nothing more than a poorly veiled excuse to do as they want to do.

It's like Gevlon was thinking the exact opposite at the same time, because he comes out with this gem of a post on EN24 - "Game Harshness, Death Penalties, Miners".

In this article he attempts to start logically, but nearly instantly falls off what I like to call the "doesn't have a clue cliff." In re-reading the article I start wondering why I am starting to agree with his premise and then it hits me... No, it's not when he basically abandons all sense and once again tries to draw direct correlations between WoW and Eve. A tricky task AT BEST and not one that should be tackled by someone without a heavy use of caveats.

It's when he starts talking about the direction, in cost, of fights in Eve. He refers back to a old mechanic, the AOE doomsday where people "had" to risk their caps to defend their space, because two titans could kill off the conventional fleets. But then fails to recognize that the reason that Titan's lost their AOE doomsday is that fleets started showing up with more than one Titan. HAI PL, wonder how much they would love to show up with 40+ titans and kill every cap/subcap on the field in a mass of coordinated AOE DD's. The DD penalty of not being able to move wouldn't matter because the field would be clear. Their removal made for a consistant need for subcap fleets to support capitals, a wise move made by CCP not a bad one. For example in real life where Carrier battlegroups come in, as you guessed it, a group.

Then he comes up with this oversimplification gem

Harshness (of a game) = Death Chance * Death Penalty

Well that is pretty simple. You know, the chance you die when you engage in combat, times the penalty of dying, yup, that's the only two things that make something harsh!

To me the 'Harshness' of a game is determined by a host of sub factors. To break it out into my own harshness equation;

Harshness = Amount risked + chance of destroyed items (not just lost) + skill or knowledge required to be successful + "sloppy play" deficit / ability to recover "dropped" or lost items

In this measure of measurement of course Eve is one of the most "harsh" environments out there.

Eve is harsh because of a lot of factors, not just two. So from there his post just stands more and more assumptions on that faulty logic.

The idea that cheap ships are bad for the risk or for the amount of PvP in Eve is ridiculousness. First, cheaper ships actually lead to a more dangerous galaxy for many reasons, the most simple of those being that cheaper ships lead to people taking greater risks with those ships. Where an individual ship is mere "pocket change" a consistant PvPer, or in other words something Gevlon is CLEARLY not familiar with, would rather fly and use a host of cheaper, but still good ships rather than be forced into more expensive ships.

Even the "casual," read : anyone who can't play 6+ hours a day, (that doesn't make them bad) player would rather have cheaper ships, and it's not because it makes the game less harsh, it's because they are more likely to risk their ships or the ships of their friends if those ships are easier to replace. Risked ships equal more combat. As the price of ships rise, then most players become more risk-adverse, not less.

How does all this tie into the New Order? It's very simple. Gevlon tries to make his entire post neatly tie into the idea that by killing "afk miners" "Botters" and other undesirables, the New Order is doing some kind of good service to the people who play Eve. Clearly anyone who has experience in eve can see this for what it is, where experienced players, greifers and pirate types take advantage of newer or more pacifist players to make money and derive their enjoyment of the game.

James 315's words/goal is not something new, various 'pirate' cartels have been 'controlling', read : extorting, belts in highsec for a vast and long time. When I started playing(2005) there were plenty of highsec griefing corps who claimed ownership to entire systems or constellations. There's nothing wrong with that, if they can enforce it and get away with it, but that doesn't make it any less silly to call it a crusade for benefit of the miners.

Imagine the cost of minerals (therefor everything else) if the profits from mining in highsec was equal to or greater than incursions or lowsec or parts of Null.

How does that encourage people to leave highsec? How does that make people more willing to engage in fighting? Or wars for nullsec space that earns nothing for the rank and file that they can't already get in highsec.

T1 frigates would cost more than a couple mil isk each, just for the hull, cruisers would cost about as much as 40 mil isk? BattleCruisers would cost more than 100 mil isk, unfit. What do you think the chances are that people would want to risk their now super expensive ships more than the cheap ships flown now? The only tactic that would see wide use is fly in a herd or die to one. Even more so than now. Not losing then would be even more important than it already is. A true risk-aversion culture.

The risk of combat in eve is some very simplistic level inversely related to the cost of ships. Lower cost ships means more people in those ships in space, looking to fight. Higher priced ships means less people wanting to fight in and lose those ships. Sure, it's an oversimplification. A valid one.

All this ignores one faulty premise of the article. That ships in Sov Null fleets are getting cheaper. Tell that to the supercap pilots, or the Tengu fleets, or the Maelstrom, Navypoc, Abaddon, Tier 3 BC swarms prevalent in current Sov nullsec fights. Cost isn't down, its up on average across the board.


  1. The problem is he begs the question and formulates circular arguments (premise A is proven by premise A) and then, believing he has proven something intelligently, runs off on a rant and rave about based on his own self importance.

    I made a point in (moderated) comment that he fails to comprehend 3 key facts:
    1) that "diminishing returns" is the mantra by which the game is based - you spend an exponential amount more time training to get a linear increase in skill, you spend exponentially more isk to get a roughly linear increase in combat performance. This is a deliberate design decision by CCP, and anything which does not fall into this mantra is a target for balancing (not "nerfing", balancing, making fairer).
    2) that any ship/module/fitting/combination thereof which can only be countered by bringing more of the same is something which is undesirable from a game design point of view because it is not "fun". Despite what Gevlon believes personally in his muling, frothing belief in Ayn Rand's particularly irrational take on rationalism, video games are about fun. CCP makes no money if they make no fun. Supporting any mechanic which reduces fun in aggregate directly impacts CCPs bottom line.
    3) That his assertion that the game's signature feature is supercaps/titans is wrong. The game's signature feature is 3000 people in the same fight at once. Any change which impacts this directly impacts the eve marketing and CCPs bottom line.

    1. If I had a karma system on my blog I would +1 you good Anon reader.

      Any non-poor negative comment on his blog he leaves out. He has stopped even looking at my comments on his blog before modding them out. His stupid posts do make good response bait though. I thank him for that :)

  2. The Gevlon effect: working as intended!

  3. Apparently Sir Goblin thinks suicide ganking is PVP...
    Back in the old days it was called KM whoring.

  4. Just today i became aware of your blog, thanks to jesters junk drawer. I'm not disapointed, good stuff !
    Goblins have been classified as constantly annoying little creatures. They are usually depicted as small, sometimes only a few inches tall. They are also very greedy and love money.
    I could have taken other quotes from the web, but i guess these are the best descriptive :-)

    1. You still have me laughing,

      By far the best quotes on goblins and welcome to my blog!

  5. I agree that sometimes gevlon makes assumptions from the data that are just faulty (WH article for instance), but on this one I tend to agree with him. Just as he is sometimes bias you guys here are too. You always personally attack him which diminishes your argument somehow. The idea is not using cheaper or more expensive ships, it is only simply that if everything in the game becomes more inherently expensive (timewise which is the base resourse in this game) makes the game harsher. And remember everything else in the article (The new order) is a point of view. So please guys try to stay constructive, after all whether you like or not he does write good articles (right or wrong to be determined).

    1. Ultimately blogs and comments are opinion based, and not fact based.

      "You always personally attack him." have you read his articles? His comments here? yes, clearly he is the mature adult and I, just a detractor.

      My few words of mild chastisement are far from "attacking him." I simply state that the increase in cost of items doesn't make this game more or less harsh it increases or decreases the grind associated with playing the game.

      Please direct me to a good article he has written that is not trade based... No, I guess that's not fair. Fairly, Sure he writes some good articles. I don't say anything when he does, or I commend him, if privately. I find the majority of his articles to be poorly written, trite and honestly not-useful to the eve player or the player experience. In fact many of his articles, especially when talking about PvP are so filled with bad assumptions and half truths based on idea's he has no personal experience with they are misleading at best and harmful to the player base at worst.

      Also, m8, this is Eve... "stay constructive"? it's like you don't even play.