Friday, July 3, 2015

They didn't want that alliance anyway

A few hours after I published how MoA broke the Imperium alliance J4LP a post appeared on the Goon propaganda site and distanced themselves from the shattered J4LP. Commenters were also quick to point that J4LP isn't member of the Imperium.

This surprised me as I keep a close watch on them for obvious reasons, but was completely unaware that J4LP left. But there is more here: on Jun 29, EN24 posted an article with the title "Brawl In Cloud Ring: Lethal Ironboards vs. The Imperium." While you could dismiss it as "EN24 is wrong and unreliable", the article starts with "the writer of this article is a member of IG.Academy, a member of the Iron Armada." ... "On the night of the 26th of June, there was a battle in Cloud Ring between the Imperium and a coalition comprised of Lethal Intent [L3THAL], Iron Armada [FLEEP], and Usurper [USURP], known as Lethal Ironboards." This means he is a member of one of the sides of the battle.

Even better, the interviewed SMA FC said: "so we committed J4LP and other Syndicate allies while SMA held on a Titan. Once the Lethal caps were on grid, SMA committed, while Imperium moved into position. We then committed J4LP caps to buy some more time and started taking subs while J4LP and other allies focused on the caps. " He clearly speaks of J4LP as something that "we" (SMA? Imperium?) controls.

Of course both of them can be wrong, but it's surprising that both sides of the battle perceived J4LP as something integrated into the Imperium forces. So we can conclude that J4LP was de facto Imperium member on Jun 26. We can start space-lawyering if they were "true Scotsman" or not, but I'd go with "if it flies with Imperium, blue to Imperium, lives in/directly adjacent to Imperium, then it's Imperium".

It is possible that there were decisions made higher-up to loosen the ties and transform J4LP from a proper member (who is ordered to deploy with the others and receive full support from the others) to an "ally" who helps and being helped if it's not too inconvenient, but they didn't bother announcing it and considered J4LP something they'll keep positively interacting. Only when J4LP was soundly defeated during the MoA deployment (I do not claim "solely by MoA") and its space is now occupied by newcomers, they switched to the "we didn't want that alliance anyway".

It's funny to see how the once powerful CFC is now operates on "edge cases". Uedama kills by CODE are now belonging to them. J4LP losses don't. I'm sure that if J4LP and SMA could keep Cloud Ring, they wouldn't be disowned and the common belief of them being Imperium would be upheld. Anyway the Imperium propaganda shifted from "Watch how we pwn!" to "If we add this because of [space lawyering] and substract this because of [space lawyering] then we didn't lose.".

Their end is near. And do you know what's the funniest? When they collapse, there won't be anyone else but me and MoA around to claim credit (even if they actually collapse because H1Z1 pays more real money). I mean if you aren't committed fighting them when they go down, you can't claim credit and no one else but me and MoA are committed. Everyone else is just "third partying" and "was looking for some gudfite" and "was just having fun, no pressure". Hey, there is still time to belong to those who broke the superpower of the last 5 years! Deploy to CFC land, publish your commitment to the death of CFC and receive glory when their last FC/leader leaves for H1Z1!


PS: Another fine piece from the tears collected by MoA:
SACKS OF SHIT
From: Colleen O'Shay O'Shay
Sent: 2015.05.10 14:38
To: Akballah Kassan, Baaad Seed, Dathon Rayn, DeCypherSphere, Efraya, FieryCorn, IVAN KILLYA, JAY WRIGHT, KiloAlpha, Kinis Deren, Rodney McCaay, The BIind,

wow 20 of you on a miner ! really...........fucking punks

The interesting thing is that no miners were harmed with her, just a ratter and some dumb Goons who tried to PvP. Goons, learn from her mistake, if one of you is tackled, just dock up, trying to save him just give more kills to MoA!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ghosts of the islands

This is about my dream video game that I've been thinking about for years. The plans finally reached a coherent stage where I can present them, in hope that someone grabs elements of it (which is free of course), as I have no hope to ever implement it myself. It's a very ambitious plan:
  • A highly competitive game which can be enjoyed by very uncompetitive casuals.
  • A PvP game where you can lose everything you owned in PvP, yet it lacks griefing, ganking and PvE players can enjoy it.
  • An economy-centered game without botting, no-life or goldselling.

Introduction

When you create your only character (no alts, unless you buy extra subscriptions), you find yourself as a shipwreck survivor on a small island, with a packaged tent, a few crude tools and food for a few days. You'll be alone in this island unless you play with real-life friends and choose to join their "family" during character creation. The Island will be protected by fog for a few days, keeping unwanted visitors out during your first days. You are greeted by 4 ghosts who are forever trapped on the island. They will be your NPC guides during "tutorial phase" and then crucially important resources. They hand you a few "ghost essences", an important resource.

You are first tasked to find the only suitable location for a base in the island which will always be by the sea. You'll be asked to plant your tent, becoming the lvl 1 Town Hall of your base. One ghost offers to empower the Town Hall, creating an unbreakable barrier around your "town" that keeps out enemies, monsters and players alike. He'll ask 1 ghost essence per day to be able to empower a building. Then you are tasked to gather resources (wood and skins) to upgrade your Town Hall, as on lvl 1 it supports zero more buildings and every levels add two more building slots to your town. The max level is 3 on a small island, allowing 4 buildings + Hall.

To get resources, you must venture to the land and chop down trees and kill monsters for their skins. While doing so, you encounter the combat system which is pretty much industry standard: target baddie and press hotkey. The spells and skills are available from the start, there is no leveling or skilling up, you can increase character power only by playing better and by getting better gear. Gear is available in only few tiers, so maxing it out is available for everyone (not always a good idea though as you lose it on death). You also encounter with the unique crafting/working system: after finding the tree or killing the animal, you give the order to chop into planks or skin for pelt and then drag to the town and your avatar gets to work. He'll work for a long time, depending on the difficulty of the task and while doing so, you can log off. Everyone else will see your avatar working on the task and can attack it (not during newbie fog of course). This part makes botting pointless and no-life impossible as most of the time of the avatar is spent working anyway. In the tutorial phase, this will be bypassed by seeding a few materials to use instead, not to interrupt the first hours of play.

If you log in after the work is done, your avatar will be in the town and spent the extra time resting in the Town Hall. Resting is an important mechanic, you must rest 6 hours a day in the town or 10 in the wilderness or become tired, losing power until rest. Then you are asked to give the order to upgrade the Town Hall. You could queue this job (and any amount of jobs) before but as a new player you didn't. After lvl 2, you are told to get more resources to build 2 buildings, one of them being the Spirit Shrine which can resurrect you if you die. Without a spirit healer or a family-mate on your island, you lose everything on death and need to start over. With healer, you lose only the gear and items you had on you.

From there, you will build buildings, upgrades, gather resources, get food for yourself and ghost essences for your ghosts, terraform your island to build roads that makes travel easier, beautify your island and so on, and so on till eternity if you do not wish to play competitively. You can do it in a mentioned "family", a small group of RL friends who share a small island. Or you can find a clan, join them on a large island and start to fight other players for resources and glory. As I've said, the Town Hall provides an unbreakable barrier for your Small Island town, which means that you can only lose your island by not refilling the Town Hall with spirit shards for its ghost, despite warnings. Buildings can store 7 spirit shards, enough for a week. You can put your small island to "vacation mode" which stops all work, but also decay and spirit shard usage. This ends if you log in again, or if 2 months passed. If you don't log in for a week without or 2 months with vacation mode, your barrier goes down and anyone can claim the abandoned island. Of course the barrier only protect the town, tou can still be killed outside, losing the gear and possessions on your person, but your stuff in the Town are safe.

To travel to another island, you must build a port and a shipyard with a ship. Using ships you can visit any islands. The travel takes several hours for neighboring islands and several days for far ones, so random ganking won't be a problem. Not many will travel a day just to find the locals hiding in their Town. Also, if they die, they resurrect in their town, being able to regroup and kill the ganker, reclaiming their stuff. If the ganker dies, he he resurrects at home with no means to get back to his gear and ship.

As I've mentioned gear and tools and even buildings aren't "permanent" in the sense of "build it once, have it forever". They all lose durability on usage and especially on death. To repair them, you need a bit of the resources used for creation. Among usual conditions an item that costs 50 units of resources needs 1 unit of resource per day to maintain, creating a constant resource sink and need for new resources.

Resources and items have weight, you can't run around carrying 10 tree logs. You can only carry what you can bear and the weight slows you down. For heavier items you need multiple avatars, mules or carts. Terrain affects your speed and ability to carry stuff. You can't use a cart without a road, so terraforming isn't a vanity, but a necessity.

Buildings

Below you can see all the buildings of the game. All buildings need either a ghost or a player avatar to be on duty to operate. You must either assign one of your ghosts or your avatar to work there. All buildings have 7 levels. They can't be higher level than the Town Hall, and small island Town Halls can't go over 3. Higher level buildings have more HP, work faster, have more powerful effect or have more building slots.
  • Town Hall: basic building of any town, allowing 2 more buildings in town per level.
  • Spirit Shrine: resurrects dead players. Higher level decreases resurrection sickness (a temporary power penalty).
  • Watchtower: looks out for incoming ships and "visitors". If enemy comes, it raises alarm, making working (offline) avatars flee to the base. Higher levels increases detection speed.
  • Kennel: trains combat pets that act as NPC escorts to help you fight monsters and players. Resurrects dead pets. Higher level provides more pets to choose from.
  • Stables: trains mules and mounts that act as NPC carriers to help you carry resources and travel faster mounted. Higher levels mean more more mules and mounts.
  • Essence focus: collect the ghost essences for you. Ghost essences are needed for your ghosts to operate buildings. Extra essences are used to boost performance. A small island provides 5 essences per day which you can farm manually or let the focus get it at the cost of one of the ghosts being locked into the building (and one building slot). This is not just convenience, it's great to keep operational under siege. Large islands get 20 essences. Every level of the building gets 2 essences, so you still have to farm on a large island with a max level focus.
  • Port: allows you to build and use ships. Higher level: more ships.
  • Chicken farm: the chicken eat what they find in town. You get eggs daily and can slay the chicken for food without having to leave the base, which is both a convenience and great during siege. Higher levels: more chicken and eggs.
  • Warehouse: stores items and resources and protects them from decay. Things left outside are considered "in use" and decay.
  • Flight master: trains flying beasts to carry you to other flight masters. You can only fly between towns owned by your clan in the same island. Can only be built on a large island. The flying beasts need to rest after travel. Higher level means more beasts on duty.
  • Blacksmith: builds metal tools and weapons in a much faster rate than an avatar would with crude tools outside. Higher level adds more building slots where an avatar or ghost can work.
  • Lumber mill: builds wooden tools, weapons and building blocks from logs in a much faster rate than an avatar would with crude tools.
  • Butcher shop: creates food and skins from dead animals in a much faster rate than an avatar would with crude tools.
  • Bakery: creates food from collected edible plants in a much faster rate than an avatar would with crude tools.
  • Masonry: builds stone building materials in a much faster rate than an avatar would with crude tools.
  • Siege tower: a huge weapon that fires on enemy towns on the island. Can only be built in large islands. More than one can be built.
  • Shield tower: Creates a magic shield the capital city of a large island.
  • Vault: keeps your resources safe, even if your town is captured. "Safe" means they can't take it, but it won't magically transport to you. It'll remain "deadzoned" until you recapture the town or reach a diplomatic solution.
  • Pirate cove, Trading post, Demonic portal: special buildings for large islands, see below.
  • Guard tower: greatly increases the range and significantly the defense and offense of avatars fighting in it. They can't use or attacked with melee skills, but the tower itself can. More than one can be built in a town. Higher levels allow more avatars to be inside. Ghosts assigned to it fire magic bolts to random enemies.

Clans and island siege

After finding a clan, you can organize an attack on a large island. While small islands are available in endless numbers, emerging and disappearing in the fog on demand from the player base, the large islands of the game world are static and in limited supply in the middle of the game map. In large islands, there are more than one town locations and the Town hall barrier is unbreakable only 21 hours a day, giving a 3 hours window for attack. One town is the owner's capital, which can have a Town Hall over lvl 3. Other locations can be occupied by any clan, owner or not with a maximum lvl 3 Town Hall. The attackers first take one of these towns (if they can), to use it as their base. Since it cannot have a shield tower, it's attackable by the owner or any third party during the 3 hours period. Since you don't own the island, you won't have ghosts, player avatars must operate every building.

The capital of the owners is usually protected by magic shield and it must be broken by siege towers which are expensive to build and easy to destroy. They can fire one shot a day. A level x siege tower does x HP damage to the shield. A level x shield tower regenerate x HP per day, so one siege tower does nothing. The shield has 10x total HP. The shots and regeneration happen at the end of the barrier-window (regeneration first), so you can't surprise-attack the enemy. If you break the magic shield today, you can proceed to attack tomorrow. Of course you need to protect your base during the siege phase. While your town has its town hall barrier, you can't set its vulnerability window, it's the same for all the towns on the island, set by the capital. So you need to adjust to the timezone of the defender.

After the shield is down you engage the defenders in direct PvP while they have the advantage of guard towers (you can have guard towers in your base against counterattacks too). The battle goes until the Town Hall is destroyed. Then the rest of the buildings go offline and will become part of the town of whoever build a Town Hall here. Since this includes spirit shrine, the dead defenders can't resurrect in that town anymore. They resurrect in another town owned by their clan or on their personal small island if it's still operational. If a player didn't bother to maintain a home small island and his clan is out of towns with spirit shrines, he lost everything and gets back to the start. This forces a decision: if you play safe, then you must sail home from the large island of your clan time and time again to your personal small island losing time. If you don't, you risk losing everything if your clan is evicted. No, you can't have a family and a clan at the same time.

One clan can have one capital. If they capture another capital, they must choose which they keep, the other is downgraded to normal town. While they can have as many towns on as many large islands as they please, only the capital have shield, so the other towns can be pillaged and razed by enemies or pirates if there are no avatars at home to defend it, making empire holding impossible. Practically a clan will have one island only. There will be no way to formally ally with another clan, you can of course ally informally, but they will be considered hostiles by your town barrier, shields and ghosts in guard towers.

There will be no way for "betrayal" of your clan unless you are the sole clan leader. A spy can't let defenses down, destroy buildings or steal any items that aren't his own. There can be multiple leaders and this case they need a majority vote before every potentially harmful decision (for example if there are 3 leaders, to destroy a building, 2 must click destroy). Spirit shards can't be removed from the building cache so no one can turn them offline this way either. Resources and gear are all personal and not clan owned, you can't steal from your clanmates. You can of course trick them to give it to you, but they need to be dumb to let too much stuff owned by one guy. Clan leaders can be removed or elected by 2/3 vote over a 24 hours period. The point is that clanmates can trust each other as a bad egg or spy can't make much damage.

Special resources, piracy and trade

There are 5 basic resources in the game: food rations, wood planks, stone blocks, animal pelts and mineral ore. These are made from quickly deteriorating raw materials (picked plant parts, dead animals, logs and rocks). The resources don't lose durability while kept in the warehouse (the Town Hall has a little warehouse compartment too). Outside or during transport they lose durability. While "90% power" makes sense for a tool or weapon but not for a wooden plank, they must be "inspected" before use (eating, using to craft a tool, weapon or building). If it had 90% durability, then the inspection has 90% chance to find them good and 10% to be useless, which case it's destroyed. The basic resources are available on all islands.

There are 4 special resources (diamond, oil, mana berries, huge planks) which are needed for higher level buildings of large islands. The islands also have 4 versions (jungle, desert, temperate, nordic) which is merely cosmetic for small islands. For large islands they all have one type of special resource: diamonds can be found in ore mined in jungles, oil comes from desert oasis olive trees, mana berries can be picked in temperate forests and the huge pines of the nordic forests provide huge planks. It doesn't matter which type of island you live on, you can farm one and you need all four to operate a high level base.

One form of getting the other three is piracy. For that, the special building "pirate cove" is almost necessary. It needs 5 ghosts to operate out of the 10 available on a large island. It doubles the speed of your ships and provide intel about the barrier and shield statuses along with approximate avatar number of the towns and capitals of the nearby islands, increasing range with level. This instant information devalue spying by infiltrating other clans. The raiding party can hit the undefended islands and pillage the warehouses, destroy buildings for raw materials, kill avatars for their gear.

The other form of getting items is trade. For that, the special building "trading post" is necessary. It also needs 5 ghosts to operate. The owners can set any barter offers (like 100 planks offered for 50 diamonds) and these offers are visible from nearby islands, small and large. Then anyone can sail to the trading capital city and use the NPC interface to trade without actually entering the city.

The lack of currency means goldselling is extremely hard. You can only give resources to someone who isn't your clanmate by letting him pirate it from you (while neutral pirates can do the same) or by accepting bad trades on his trading post, which will clearly raise flags at GMs.

The endgame: the demonic plane

Owning a large island is a competitive action on its own. The amount of large islands is limited and adjusted to let about 20% of the total players live on large islands. Please remember that all islands have a limited daily resource respawn, you can't stuff thousands to an island without starvation. So more people will want a large island than get it. However there is an even more competitive play which needs a demonic portal on the island. This building can't co-exists with a shield tower, so building it allows anyone to attack you instantly in your 3 hours vulnerability period.

Secondly, once in the same vulnerable period it allows you to teleport a fixed-size raiding party to the demonic plane, engaging a random deadly raidboss and its minions. If anyone dies in the party, he must be resurrected on the field, providing a nasty resurrection sickness. A total party wipe means they can only resurrect at home, leaving their gear behind, which hurts since raidbosses need top level gear. Also, they can only teleport out once a day, so a wipe means the end of the raid today. Living avatars can retreat to the entry portal to teleport back to their island.

If the raiders don't wipe and don't have to abort because nasty pirates are landing on their island to steal and raze everything they have, they manage to kill the boss and collect its essence. The essence need to be shattered at home, creating a fixed number of shards that must be given to clan members by the leadership, no more than one to each. These can't be further traded and will disappear in a few hours, but while they last can be banished, for vanity points that are listed on the official toplist of the game under their name. Please note that the clan itself is not credited just the members, who need to earn the shards. Since the shard number is fixed, it puts a natural limit on clan size, as the rest can't be rewarded. The clan also need a healthy balance of PvE and PvP players and reward them properly as without raiders they get no shards, without PvP players they keep no island.

Have fun!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

SMA completed a successful campaign of sitting on MOA’s chest and beating them everytime

The title is a quote from the last alliance update of the Imperium of Evil. I was speechless reading it, and immediately saved it to use as title of the June CFC loss report, full of SMA losses. But something much better came along!

Last year, the minions of Evil given up regions after regions. They only managed to do so in somewhat organized manner. First the highsec POCO empire to GRR, then Period Basis, Delve and Querious after Phoebe, knowing they can't hold them against organized enemies without quickly deploying 1000 F1-drones. Finally the prized Fountain fell to the threat of pirates who will reign after Fozziesov.

Now, click to see the Sov of Cloud ring on June 15. Now click here to see the same region on June 29. There are some differences:
Ticker Name Systems on 15. Systems on 29.
J4LP I whip my slaves back and forth 28 15
SMA Spacemonkey's Alliance 6 6
CONDI Goonswarm Federation 5 0
-FA- Fatal Ascencion 1 0
FLEEP Iron Armada 0 6
L3THL Lethal Intent 0 7
NOMAD WAFFLES. 0 6
- Total 40 40
Iron Armada is the alliance formed recently by Iron.Guard, a pirate corp that haven't been in an alliance before, despite having killboard history from early 2014. So they are newcomers to Sov. Lethal Intent is former Overload Everything and as such, they weren't big players before. There is no need to introduce Waffles.

The point is that The Imperium of Evil have lost half of the region to independents. Again, it looks as an organized withdrawal, I don't think that Iron.Guard forcibly took it. What could really happen? Remember that MoA deployed there to fight J4LP and they couldn't find them and fought with "Waffles, Pandemic Horde and randoms I've never heard of"! It seems that MoA indeed pushed J4LP into failcascade (20% members already lost) and forced them to abandon half of the region. I don't know if the third parties were fighting MoA on contract or simply entered the power vacuum created by the collapse of J4LP, but only they resisted MoA.

So it seems the MoA deployment was a strategic success and J4LP was indeed broken. This is what a "successful SMA campaign" looks like! MoA is so beaten that they broke an Imperium member alliance and forced another half region to be lost. Please, please, please, assign SMA to solely defend Deklein from MoA! After all, they shown extreme aptitude on "sitting on MOA’s chest and beating them everytime".


In a recent battle against CO2, despite outnumbered 3:1, MoA won with 59% ISK ratio.
This "very special" minion of Evil also completed a successful campaign of sitting on MOA’s chest and beating them.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The culture of poverty and EVE

The theory of culture of poverty says that poor people have a set of values, beliefs and behaviors that keep them impoverished, even if they receive financial help. Critics claim it's not true and the observed self-harming behaviors are either consequences of poverty (can't study because he has no proper conditions at home) or equally common among rich (rich abuse alcohol and drugs too).

We are in the unique position to judge this debate because video games create the absolutely ideal society: my 1-day old avatar is just as strong as yours, jobs (quests) are in abundance and education (wikis, fansites) is instantly available. According to leftist ideas these would be needed to stop poverty. Yet we see power indifferences that would make the USA look communist. Most players remain extremely unsuccessful they possess very little in-game currency, raiding or PvP success or fame. They live a typical poor-life: doing low-paying jobs all play time, earning little money and not even saving that, leaving very little capital. They don't even attempt anything of significance in the game world.

However we can't ignore that believers of the culture of poverty failed to find explicit and unchallenged list of values belonging to that culture. I mean while it is obvious that poor children often don't study at home, there aren't significant amount of parents who would testify the value of not studying ("I tell my kids that studying is a waste of time"). When they are confronted, they present excuses instead, showing that not studying isn't a value but rather a consequence of their messed-up lives. Many other assumed "cultural values" are scientifically defeated.

So we have an interesting situation: it's an observable fact that poor people do something that makes them unsuccesful (otherwise in the fairy-tale world of video games everyone would be rich) but we cannot identify the values of these culture.

While I've always suspected, EVE Online provides an unquestionable evidence: the problematic value is sociality, the orientation towards being loved and accepted by "friends". Why? Because EVE is the only game that actively punishes socialization: player corporations can be wardecced, awoxed and betrayed, while NPC and 1-man corporations cannot. I mean you can obviously scam an NPC corp member, but you must scam personally him, while you can scam the CEO of a player corp and steal everything that corp members had (who have no means to prevent this happen). In this "be the villain" anti-utopia, the only rational decisions available are playing solo and playing a predator (this can and should be in a wolfpack). Yet we see "highsec industrialists corps" everywhere. Their cans are anchored at every gate and the New Order never runs out of stories. These corps can't be any good even by accident, since they would be instantly wardecced and destroyed. They only survive by being so bad that no one but "highsec content creators" care.

Every member of these endless iterations of corps are desperately poor for their own fault: they prefer being with "friends" over success. They lock valid information out to protect themselves from the truth: their corp sucks. They share whatever they have with "less fortunate friends" (or scammers posing as one), ruling out even the possibility of ever progressing. This is like real world poor who donate more than the rich and more likely shelter family members in their already overcrowded home. I believe the real reason of remaining poor is helping, sharing and associating with other poors. The person who works for himself will become rich, while the one who looks after his friends will become poor.

Why isn't this obvious? Because helping, sharing and associating with peers is conspicuously valued in all classes of the society. I'd underline "conspicuously": while the rich indeed praises the importance of love and sharing, he doesn't actually practice these. He would never shelter a homeless relative in his home, despite having the rooms for it. He donates smaller part of his wealth. He is much more likely doing a competitive job (lawyer, businessman, broker, politician) than a helping-protecting-serving one (health care, education, police). He lies about this value, his true values are competitiveness and selfishness. Those who truly believe in the praised values of sociality are the poor.

This indeed leaves one leftist claim true: the rich is guilty keeping the poor in poverty by lying about the way out of poverty. If all the rich would proudly preach selfishness and laugh on helping, the poor could learn from them and fix their lives.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The refugees of democracy

Real world post incoming. You probably heard that unmatched refugee swarm reached Europe. From Libya and sub-Sahara they dare the Mediterranean sea in things that don't deserve the name "ship". On land they mostly come from Syria and Iraq, on the Turkey-Greece-Serbia-Hungary-Austria way.

There were always refugees from conflict zones. However this is fundamentally different. There is no formal war between countries and there is no genocidal dictatorship in the countries they come from. Quite the opposite: Iraq under Saddam, Libya under Gaddafi and Syria under Assad were free of such swarm. Sure, these weren't the happiest places in the planet and these dictators were known for their antics, but the ordinary people could mind their own life.

Not anymore. Since the democratic countries removed or seriously weakened them in the name of "freedom", the countries turned into failed states, ravaged by the madmen of the Islamic State. "Shut up and mind your own business" was no longer possible for the locals. If you aren't a "true" Sunni Muslim (by their definitions), you run, or you die. So they run, in millions.

There is a fourth country that got to the edge of this fate: Egypt. After the "evil dictator" Mubarak was removed by "democratic movement", the Islamic Radical Mohamed Morsi was elected democratically. Under his "rule", fundamental systems starting to fall apart while he was busy rebuilding the legal system under Sharia. He denied the right of Israel to exist which threatened with a new war in the Middle East. The total collapse was averted by a military coup.

It's impossible to ignore the running theme here: "bad dictator" could keep the population content, while "good freedom" lead to bloodshed and mass exodus. After these obvious results, the "dictatorship = bad, democracy = good" philosophy must be rejected. It seems to be happening behind the curtains as the USA and the EU stopped fighting against Assad. But it's not good enough, as we can judge by the swarm of refugees.

If I say that these lands can only be safely ruled by tyrants, while I do not wish a tyrant to rule my country (a sort-of-one already does), I have to explain why I'm better than a Syrian. I'm not. All countries have two kind of people: the first kind is able to make intelligent decisions, both it their personal life and politically, therefore in a democratic system his vote will support proper leaders. The other kind of people are making decisions based on superstitions, fanatic belief and random feelings, leading to electing murderous madmen into power. It's simply that Syria has too many of the second kind of people, so their voice surpass the first group, helping the madmen into power (note: it doesn't need formal elections, as protests or volunteering to militias are also form of free political choices a person can make). This means that the few people who could make a democracy work are better off living under a tyrant than under a leader elected by them... and 10x more fanatics. On the other hand the USA can work perfectly with every drooling moron being able to vote, as their votes are shadowed by the bigger number of "proper" voters.

What is the defining criteria of "democracy-ready person"? The automatic response would be "smart", which has a problem: trouble is often made by (relatively) intelligent, educated and culturally advanced men. The Taliban was formed by students and not illiterate shepherds. Lenin went to university when most people in contemporary Russia were peasants without education. Hitler was an artist and not a factory worker like most of his countrymen. Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran was literally reading Plato. Even Pol Pot whose movement tried to eradicate educated men and praised the peasants was educated abroad. It seems that being "smart" doesn't stop someone from being a genocidal madmen.

The proper criteria of a "democracy-incompatible person" is "poor". Not only it's easier to measure (for example by tax payments in the last 4 years), it's almost impossible to fake being rich (the cheater or someone on his behalf must pay tax), but it reflects directly to the ability of decision making. Citing Plato can be done by a tape recorder, but keeping a household afloat needs properly reacting to the World around us. Someone who can make the ends meet at home will likely support someone who'll do the same at the country scale, while someone living on welfare and spending his mental capacity rationalizing why it's not his fault will likely support someone who claim that the problems of the country is not the fault of the countrymen and can be solved by killing some group of people.

I've always told that people who are unable to lead their life should not lead the country, it became obvious now. We brought freedom to the Middle East and it turned into a hell that we can't just turn away from as the people from there are now literally banging on our doors. As they are running for their lives, we can't stop them without fixing their countries and we can't fix them without installing dictatorships. A decade ago just talking against dictators and trading with them behind the curtain was an option. We could therefore upkeep the peace and claim that democracy would be better. But after the Islamic State has risen, we don't have a luxury anymore as without serious acts they will rule these lands and keep sending refugees. We must actively remove them and install dictators or colonial administration. This can't be done silently as they outgrow the scope of covert ops. We must send armies with the open declaration to not bring democracy. But doing so is impossible without explaining why do we treat them differently than ourselves. And there is no other explanation than what I just gave: these countries are full of poor people and poor+free is a bad combination.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The morons of Burn Uedama

A little unrelated note: I think we have the price CODE asked to make a miracle and turn the miserable Burn AmarrNiarja into the numerically successful Burn AmarrNiarjaUedama.

Below you can see the large hauler kills during Burn AmarrNiarjaUedama. Only kills above 2B are listed, because empty ships can be trolls or simply "it's insured, I don't care". Also, they are numerous and I checked the kills manually. Checking 120 was bad enough, I didn't want more. Next to the kills you see the problems with that ship.

The most common problem is tank. The proper fit for a highsec large hauler is max tank, end of story. Yet there are untanked ships (usually with inertia stabilizers), antitanked ones (with cargo expanders decreasing HP), nanofit (which decrease HP and don't even give cargo space) and completely idiotic fits.

There are also numerous other problems, like carrying small cargo that could fit into a transport Tengu or Occator. If it fits, it goes there, even if you haul other stuff too. Putting an 1B deadspace item next to a big heap of veldspar is a bad idea, you'll be ganked for that 1B item. Carry the veld in the freighter and contract the 1B thing to a Tengu alt! Other common problem is being overloaded with expensive cargo, allowing profitable ganks. Finally flying a JF in highsec without exit cyno is dumb. If you lost it to anything but login-trap tornadoes, you didn't have an exit cyno. Catalyst/talos need an optimal warpin, giving you enough time to cyno out. Finally there were some really special snowflakes who managed to get into limited engagement or flew under wardec.

  1. 3B Charon, Antitanked, small cargo
  2. 4B Fenrir, Untanked, small cargo
  3. 4B Obelisk, Antitanked, small cargo, overloaded, not suicide
  4. 3B Charon, Antitanked
  5. 3B Charon, Antitanked
  6. 2B Obelisk, Small cargo
  7. 7B Anshar, Antitanked, JF
  8. 2B Fenrir, Nanofit
  9. 2B Fenrir, Antitanked, Nanofit
  10. 8B Rhea, Antitanked, JF
  11. 2B Charon, Nanofit
  12. 2B Charon, Antitanked, small cargo
  13. 2B Providence, Antitanked
  14. 3B Obelisk, Small cargo
  15. 10B Fenrir, Antitanked, JF, small cargo, overloaded
  16. 6B Orca, Moronfit, small cargo, overloaded
  17. 3B Charon, Antitanked
  18. 5B Obelisk, Nanofit, small cargo, overloaded
  19. 3B Fenrir, OK
  20. 6B Ark, Antitanked, JF
  21. 2B Charon, Antitanked
  22. 2B Providence, Antitanked
  23. 3B Charon, Untanked, small cargo
  24. 7B Obelisk, Overoaded, small cargo
  25. 10B Rhea, Untanked, overloaded, small cargo, JF
  26. 3B Charon, So-so
  27. 3B Charon, Antitanked
  28. 3B Obelisk, Untanked, small cargo, overloaded
  29. 2B Fenrir, Untanked
  30. 5B Fenrir, Small cargo, overloaded
  31. 3B Charon, Untanked, small cargo
  32. 2B Obelisk, Untanked
  33. 2B Charon, Untanked
  34. 9B Charon, Overloaded, small cargo
  35. 2B Charon, So-so
  36. 2B Charon, Untanked
  37. 4B Providence, Idiotfit, overloaded
  38. 4B Fenrir, Overloaded, small cargo
  39. 4B Charon, Untanked, overloaded
  40. 3B Charon, OK
  41. 13B Obelisk, Antitanked, stupidly overloaded
  42. 3B Obelisk, Antitanked, small cargo
  43. 3B Fenrir, Nanofit
  44. 2B Charon, Idiotfit, small cargo
  45. 4B Fenrir, Antitanked, overloaded, small cargo
  46. 3B Obelisk, Small cargo
  47. 3B Charon, Idiotfit
  48. 2B Charon, Nanofit
  49. 9B Anshar, JF, small cargo
  50. 2B Orca, Antitanked, small cargo
  51. 9B Rhea, JF
  52. 6B Charon, Antitanked, overloaded
  53. 7B Anshar, JF, nanofit
  54. 3B Providence, Antitanked, overloaded
  55. 5B Charon, Untanked, overloaded
  56. 5B Orca, Antitanked, overloaded, small cargo
  57. 3B Obelisk, Untanked
  58. 2B Charon, OK
  59. 3B Obelisk, Antitanked, small cargo
  60. 2B Providence, OK
  61. 2B Obelisk, Idiotfit
  62. 6B Nomad, JF, antitanked
  63. 4B Obelisk, Overloaded
  64. 3B Bowhead, So-so
  65. 2B Charon, Antitanked
  66. 2B Charon, Antitanked
  67. 2B Providence, Antitanked
  68. 2B Orca, Antitanked
  69. 7B Obelisk, Antitanked, overloaded
  70. 3B Charon, Nanofit, overloaded, small cargo
  71. 4B Charon, Antitanked
  72. 7B Nomad, JF, Antitanked, overloaded
  73. 2B Fenrir, Antitanked
  74. 4B Providence, Idiot fit, overloaded, small cargo
  75. 3B Obelisk, Antitanked
  76. 2B Obelisk, Untanked
  77. 2B Obelisk, Small cargo
  78. 7B Anshar, JF, antitanked
  79. 6B Ark, JF, antitanked
  80. 2B Charon, Antitanked
  81. 3B Fenrir, Untanked, small cargo
  82. 7B Rhea, JF, Nanofit
  83. 3B Obelisk, Untanked
  84. 3B Providence, Untanked, small cargo
  85. 7B Ark, JF, antitanked
  86. 3B Charon, So-so
  87. 2B Providence, Untanked
  88. 3B Providence, So-so
  89. 2B Obelisk, OK
  90. 2B Obelisk, OK
  91. 7B Rhea, JF, untanked
  92. 2B Charon, Antitanked
  93. 5B Providence, Antitanked, overloaded
  94. 3B Orca, Idiot fit, small cargo
  95. 3B Charon, Antitanked
  96. 5B Orca, Antitanked, overloaded
  97. 2B Fenrir, Antitanked
  98. 2B Obelisk, Untanked
  99. 3B Obelisk, So-so
  100. 3B Charon, Idiot fit, small cargo
  101. 8B Rhea, Antitanked, JF, small cargo
  102. 3B Orca, Antitanked
  103. 3B Obelisk, Antitanked
  104. 6B Nomad, JF, antitanked
  105. 4B Obelisk, Antitank, small cargo, overloaded
  106. 3B Obelisk, OK
  107. 2B Obelisk, OK
  108. 11B Obelisk, Untanked, stupidly overloaded, small cargo
  109. 9B Anshar, Antitanked, JF
  110. 2B Fenrir, Nanofit
  111. 5B Providence, Antitanked, overloaded, small cargo
  112. 9B Anshar, Antitanked, JF
  113. 7B Ark, Antitanked, JF
  114. 7B Charon, Nanofit, overloaded, small cargo
  115. 3B Obelisk, Antitanked, small cargo
  116. 2B Orca, Antitanked
  117. 18B Fenrir, JF, stupidly overloaded, small cargo
  118. 7B Anshar, not suicide gank
  119. 8B Fenrir, Antitanked, stupidly overloaded, small cargo
Ouch, only 8 out of 119 kept the industry standards and 6 tried with some mistakes. The rest (88%) made dumb mistakes that would end their ship on a normal day. It's hard to tell if 88% of the haulers are morons or there were many non-morons who were skipped by gankers and we only see the morons that died, but we can say for sure, that non-morons have little chance to die, even during an organized gank event.

This tells that fighting gankers is pissing against the wind. As long as such abundance of idiots feed them with kills and loot, they'll keep coming. Please don't be a moron and don't fly such ships!


PS: Not exactly a tear, but this SMA minion of the Evil gives us some insight how civilized people they are:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Burn Uedama was a success

Socials hate numbers, because they are hard facts. They much rather have "morale" and "fun" that they can twist as they wish. So here are the numbers from Burn"Amarr", using the downloaded Freighter, JF, Orca and Bowhead losses from March 1 to June 22. Some of them I predicted, others I didn't.

First I calculated weekly damages, where a "week" started on Tuesday and ended on Monday to allow the whole Burn event on one week.
690B more big haulers died in the week of the Burn event than on an average week, so it's fair to say that the final tally of the event is 690B.

Let's compare the distribution of the kills during the event (Jun 19-22) to the normal days in highsec (all numbers are %):
The ship distribution is more or less the same, but the place distribution is very different. While in normal situations lot of places are touched, here most of the kills are focused to Uedama, Niarja and Madirmilire. Amarr, the target system of the Burn event was barely touched, unlike Jita during Burn Jitas. Goons indeed realized that they bit bigger than they can swallow, so relocated to the usual ganker pipe and called CODE to step up their game in Uedama. How much they stepped up?

While Goonswarm increased its share by 30%, CODE more than doubled their share. Considering that the total damage was already 3.6x bigger than usual, it means that CODE ganked 10x more than they are used to. Another interesting thing is that the share of Bat County dropped so much that they ganked less in absolute numbers than usually. Goonwaffe and especially Karmafleet stepped up their game and did most of the ganks under GSF tag.

So the final result is that while Goons failed to repeat Burn Jita when they ganked players who didn't see it coming, they saved the day by ganking lot of those who had it coming by hauling expensive stuff in the pipes. It also shows the extreme reserves CODE has: in case of proper "motivation" they can gank much more than they already do. This provides a clear future: while trade hub ravaging is gone, the event will remain as a pipe ganking event, based in Madirmilire or Uedama to hit traffic. Since these systems are always ganked, haulers should know better, so there is no reason to stop Goons from killing them.

This is indeed an "everyone wins" (except morons and slackers) situation. Goons and co are happy with their massacre, anti-Goons are happy with defending Amarr, only the dumb and autopiloting freighter owners have a reason to cry.