Thursday, November 1, 2012

Goons and TEST are bad at EVE therefore win

The "Goons and TEST suck at EVE" is a strange statement. It's not a curse told by enemies, it's something they call themselves. Many think that this is a psychological warfare trick "we're so bad and you still lost to us - what does that make you?" but it makes little sense, the enemy could easily counter it with talking about Goons as "worthy opponents" and clarify to their members that they are facing a skilled enemy.

Also, it makes little sense to decrease the self-esteem of their own people internally. However they take the "we are bad at EVE" attitude seriously. Want downvotes and hate? Post something on TEST forums about "bad killboard".

"We are bad at EVE" on the one hand helps a lot to newbies to learn. There is no pressure on anyone to look like a pro. You can ask newbie questions and perform silly mistakes and get help instead of hate. Sure you get laughter and mocking too, but the supportive "we've been there" kind. Nothing tells it better how welcoming TEST to newbies is then the event when the Foxcat fleet, full of multi-year pilots in 1B+ ships was waiting for 10 minutes until a few-days old newbie in a Rifter could finally figure out how to bridge. The titan pilot carefully explained him to approach, right-click, jump. When he made it, he was greeted with cheers.

This attitude also helps a lot for really good players to mesh with newbie/casual/not too bright players. Everyone predicted the cooperation between Pandemic Legion and TEST to be short-lived, but its not. Flying in fleets shown me the reason: the attitude in TEST towards PL is a genuine will to learn. People love to teach newbies, what they hate is the "dun tell me how2play u nolifer" attitude in bad players. Also, the "we are bad in EVE" attitude allows something that no "self respecting" alliance would let happen: coalition fleets mostly filled by TEST people are lead by PL FCs.

While a humble attitude helps newbies to learn faster, the fact that they are newbies shouldn't help them to win against the "elite". A fast-learning newbie becomes "elite" faster while a "dun tell me how2play u nolifer" guy might never, but it shouldn't affect the outcome: until you are "elite" you are pwned. And while claiming that all Goons and TEST are bad is surely not right, there are undoubtably people there who are clearly bad at EVE. CFC loses titans on a weekly schedule in hilarious circumstances, checking TEST killboards can give you the idea that the best solo PvP-er of this game is Corpus Pope and there is always someone who dies to a gatecamp between K6 and 4-0 despite it was clearly told to move in groups. A bunch of "elite PvP" players should roflstomp a team that is littered with Daves Dreams. I mean seriously, what chance would a team containing such players would have in a WoW arena against a top rated team?

However CFC and HBC, built on Goons and TEST are winning battles left and right. Their Sovereignity conquests were only criticized as "not fast enough" even by their opponents. The most "elite" alliances, -A- and NC. were just beaten out of their space by them. How?

The answer lies in my own newbie fleet experience. Despite my blog was littered with "u haz no place in a logi n00b u haz 2 learn the art of pew first or ull b ded weight", my first PvP engagement was in a Scimitar. My only problem on this fleet was that my overview as sub-optimal (though usable). In the rest of the fleets everything went perfectly, I repped, I did not die, I did not get lost, I wasn't any worse than most. Good luck doing the same in WoW, playing a new class in Arena or on a raid. There are 100+ hours of leveling before that and most people are still utterly useless. What the hell is going on here?

The solution is that there are no relevant gaming skills in EVE for the average fleet pilot. You don't need good reaction time, you don't need situational awareness, you don't need to memorize 50+ hotkeys, all you need is orbit the anchor, target the broadcasted one and press F1-4. Unless you have some disability, you should be performing at 70-80% of the perfect at the first time, assuming you fit your ship as told and downloaded the overview pack. In WoW, until you learn the boss dance perfectly you worth zero. You'll be dead making the group hitting enrage.

"Elite playing" is necessary in WoW endgame, meaning perfect memorizing the boss patterns or enemy classes, hitting the proper key in the proper milisecond. "Elite PvP" in EVE Sov warfare does not exist outside of FC-ing and running specific roles. These roles are crucial and without a few very skilled players the fleet couldn't do anything. But for the simple fleet members "elite PvP" is totally irrelevant for taking systems. And unfortunately the champions of "elite PvP" want to have a place on the map.

TEST and Goons are winning because the "we are bad at EVE" attitude prevents their members from focusing on totally irrelevant things like killboard statistics, 1v1 duels, getting and fitting ships that can get them solo kills while useless in fleet and prevent them chase away useful newbies. If you try to be good at PvP, you get worse in fleet as you spent your resources on something vanity. This only changes if you get really good and there is a need for one more specialist. For "Drake#541" or even "Guardian#26" (who is me) having solo kills in EVE is no different than having rare mounts in WoW. Instead the Goons/TEST rank and file members focus on the things that are relevant in EVE: the social skills allowing to get more people in the fleet and getting ISK to have ships.

Social people are naturally tending towards boosting their ego, trying to look better than peers. The "we are bad at EVE" attitude is almost necessary to prevent one to lose focus on the goal and shift to e-peen stroking.

Thursday morning report: 181.2B (6.6 spent on main accounts, 7.1 spent on Logi/Carrier, 3.8 on Ragnarok, 3.3 on Rorqual, 3.4 on Nyx, 3.4 on Dread, 37.4 sent as gift)


Druur Monakh said...

Let me put it bluntly: the use of lolspeak outside of irony or verbatim quotes is one indicator of an idiot. Even if it is used only to summarily dismiss critical opinions.

Druur Monakh said...

But to your point: the Goon's "we are bad at EVE" attitude is indeed very helpful in taking the game not too seriously; and their grooming of newbies is recommendable. Not without reason is the "Every ship counts" poster popular far beyond the Goon core.

But again you let your enjoyment of your current situation blind you. There are plenty other corporations who also don't consider themselves 'elite', and who also coddle their newbies - they're just less notorious about it.

And the same applies to your playstyle: you like your current playstyle as cog in a machine, therefore in your mind all other playstyles are invalid. Yet this dismissal again is based on sheer ignorance.

Just the statement "If you try to be good at PvP, you get worse in fleet" alone is patently wrong. Most PvP happens in fleets, and even the most ardent 1v1-er fleets up to take down too-large targets. But in small fleets, just being Ship#42 is not enough - it pays to be versed in both. And that is a completely different issue than whether or not newbies are welcomed or not.

If you want to be just one man in the big war machine, and get your ego boost solely through Billion ISK donations - more power to you. But it also means that you can't really talk knowledgeably about being anything else.

Anonymous said...

;) Last time the Ganked Roam went to TEST turf .. and nobody was there to fight us because 60 odd Frigs were to much danger for them ;) Yeah being a cog in a maschine sometimes helps but to be honest "Elite" knowlege is in EVE a great FC , a good fleet and stuff like that ... you learned nothing about it right now (fitting and stuff) .. i mean your job couldd be done by a repper drone .. but your FCs job or a scout etc couldn't be replaced ... you are not an elite guy just by hanging out with an elite group ;) You don'tt become a navy seal by swiming in the same pool as them ... even if you drive their Bus to an Mission you play a critical part for this mission .. but you are not a seal if you only the bus driver ... so congratulation repper drone #12322143224

Cyaxares said...

"The solution is that there are no relevant gaming skills in EVE for the average fleet pilot"

You can of course define "relevant" to fit your argument but I disagree.

Allow me to recycle a reddit post of mine that touches on this topic:

The parts pertinent to this discussion are:
In the big fleets that are typical for TEST you don't get any feedback on whether you are doing things right or not - unless you are horribly incompetent nobody else will notice your mistakes, your own survival does only rarely depend on the quality of your piloting, most people around you will make horrible mistakes all over the place and the extensive SRP means that you always fall soft no matter how much you screwed up.


The only thing TEST manages to teach well is adherence to standard doctrines - but to improve at pvp you need to apply the same vigor TEST members show when commenting on failfits when commenting on your own and other pilots' actual performance during fights.

TEST approaches PvP from a "convincing people who are afraid of PvP that engaging in PvP can be fun" point of view - this enables them to field extremely large fleets (as many people are very afraid of being bad at pvp) but also leads to a "no blame" environment in which badness is cherished rather than eradicated.

Smaller, entirely pvp-centric corporations and alliances have the advantage that they can assume that every pilot who joins them has already accepted his badness and ignorance (as opposed to a "OMG I am so bad I have to hide" attitude) and joins them to become better at that aspect of the game. They don't have to be afraid of hurting your precious feelings and scaring you away from pvp for the rest of your EVE career by being open with criticism. This results in a much more efficient learning environment.

I think we can agree that overwhelming numbers are generally more important than skill and that the "we are bad" attitude helps TEST to get these numbers in fleet.

However, in my opinion pvp "gaming skills" and pvp experience (which is best learned in small gangs but translates directly into big fleets) is important and does make the difference that allows you to take fights where you are slightly outnumbered. It's hard to put a number on such things as everything depends on circumstances but for the sake of the argument I would say that pvp skills can make up for a difference in numbers of 20-30%.

Whether this advantage is worth the very high investment into each player is of course up for discussion and depends heavily on the structure of your corporation or alliance.

Actually I am surprised that you make this argument at all given that you fly with PL on a daily basis. They demonstrate that individual pilot skill does make a difference - even when flying Rokhs or Napocs.

Situational awareness, knowing how to manage your MWD/capacitor, knowing when to overheat, not having to rely on anchors to keep the fleet together, not overly relying on a single FC (as nearly every fleet member can take over FCing or target calling when necessary), completely autonomous but competent acting in support roles (firewall, dictors, anti-tackle, ECM, ...), ...

A good FC can make up for bad pilots by giving explicit orders for every little thing - but that good FC could be a great FC if he didn't have to occupy his mind by paying attention to a dozen different things that competent pilots can well manage on their own.

Maybe there is a paradigm shift happening and maybe the way PL trains TEST is the way of the future and numbers will never again be so close that skill would have any noticeable impact on a fight.
But for the time being Sniggerdly does still insist on their recruits having accumulated 6-12 months of small gang experience before allowing them to fly "F1" doctrines in PL and I think they do so for very good reason.

Unknown said...

Who are you and what have you done to the Greedy Goblin?

Maybe you should check your ape subroutines while fan-boying about your group and your "new" game. Many of those you speak of so fondly are either carebears or those you usually called "M&S". Whats the difference between a 5k dps PUG loser and someone who does not "figure out how to bridge"? Both are things you can easily be avoided by get a minimum knowledge about the game you play. And the best of it all, you are happy about how your fellow apes (and maybe you too?) greeted him with cheers, as a thanks for delaying the whole fleet.

Dont get me wrong, I dont consider elitism any better, thats not the reason why I made this comment. Its totally okay that you have fun playing that game and found friends. But why I made that comment is: the point of view and insights that the greedy goblin gave, thats kind of gone here, no matter how successful you are in money making.

Anonymous said...

correctly understanding the meaning of irony is a good indicator of understanding why Druur monakh is and idiot.
hint the correct word is "sarcasm"
not irony.

Gevlon said...

@Unknown: a 5K DPS is at first spent 100+ hours in the game while the Rifter was literally few days old. Also he didn't gave the "i play as i wanna lol" but clearly wanted to learn. We all were newbies. For more info, read the "about M&S" page linked on the top of my site. It's written before I started playing EVE.

online DPSlicense exam said...

"We are bad at EVE" does not necessarily represent the level of skill for the whole group but rather created as a piece to make sure each individual can meet at one point in their skills and strive more from there.

Anonymous said...

TEST and Goons are winning because they have over 30,000 players combined in their two coalitions, they can field 500 man fleets in every timezone, they own more than half of the supercaps and titans in the game and they have a lot of ISK from botting, RMT and of course tech moons.

They can basically outblob and outspend any other alliance or coalition currently in the game.

The "we are bad at EVE" attitude has little to do with it. We treat newbies the same in my small alliance as you described that TEST/PL treats them. Yet we are still a small alliance.

Why are TEST and Goons so big? Because they are the de facto EVE alliances of two very popular tech-gaming related websites, reddit and Something Awful. That's where they get a lot of their members from.

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