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Quote of the Day – The Strategy for the Conquest of Fountain June 18, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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The CFC goes to war on a simple, tested strategy: grind the moons down, and only later bother grinding sov. Hostiles should be either massacred or blueballed to ensure their playing experience is ruined. Relentless metagaming should take place such that the conflict is as demoralizing and unfair as possible. To us, sov is essentially meaningless once jump bridges have been snapped; what matters is that our foe does not want to log into the game. We have taken out superior forces by ruining their gameplay to the point that they do not bother logging on; this was how we dealt with the massive Raiden pre-nerf Titan blobs in the Tenal campaign. You can kill a hostile spaceship by blowing it up, or by ensuring that it never logs in in the first place.

Now that such a huge and ridiculous band of hangers-on have joined the ‘independent’ TEST to fight their war for them, it is important that the CFC remembers how we fight: it has been months since Tribute, our last grinding hellwar, and we have many newbies. At every turn you should consider how to ruin the fun of the foe, while still enjoying yourself. We care nothing for ~honor~, ‘gudfites’, or any of the pubbie views of how warfare ‘should’ be. We have massacred, griefed and blueballed our way across the galaxy since Red Alliance first taught us how to win sov wars in late 2006, and there is no reason why we will change our methods now.

The Mittani, GSF CEO Update: Slouching Towards Bethlehem

The Mittani, back from E3, has provided an update on the war.

In the situation room

In the situation room

The update itself contains salve to sooth all possible worries of the rank and file, including my own concerns that we had let things get out of our control on the diplomatic front.  We are told that TEST is screwed and hurting for money, they fear us and so are staging out of low sec right from the start, their allies are only in it for the fights, and that we have managed to break off Black Legion from TEST’s pack, in large part due to TEST’s promiscuous ally policy.  (Though, with that last one, there are some tales as to what transpired floating around.)

Oh, and we are all heroes, having stepped up and worked overtime to launch the invasion.  Go us!

Liberation of Fountain

Liberation of Fountain

Now, how much of the CEO Update you believe will no doubt reflect where you stand.  If you are from TEST or one of their recent allies, you are probably standing on your chair shouting, “Lies and damage control!” and wondering how The Mittani’s trousers have not yet burst into flames.  The comment thread on the post over at The Mittani (he’s both a space tyrant AND a web site!) is running about as you would expect.

You will also see on the comment thread a recurring mention that this sort of update is really only focused at an internal audience, that it is a morale booster for the troops, and that you should view it in that light and not blow a gasket.

That is a lie.

There is a long history of posting the CEO updates publicly.  They used to get reposted on Kugu.  Now, with with access to their own gaming news site, updates get posted in the GSF forums and to the front page nearly simultaneously.

These sorts of updates are clearly crafted for public consumption and often contain sections directed squarely at the enemy.  They are propaganda.  They are part of the meta game.  And an enemy has to parse this sort of thing whether they agree with it or not.  They have to ask if we really believe what was said, if things really are going to our plan, if people will keep logging on if fights dry up.  Enemy leadership won’t express any doubts to the rank and file, but they have to assess the message and decide where it should fit in their world view.  And if an enemy blows a gasket over an update… and does something stupid… so much the better.

Other alliance heads mask their updates in secrecy.  We hear about them through leaked recordings and transcriptions.

The Mittani publishes his updates for all to see and makes them do double duty.  They bolster the morale of the troops and attempt to raise fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the enemy and its leadership.

Comments»

1. HarbingerZero - June 18, 2013

Good job comrade, the Motherland thanks you for your loyal service! lol…

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2. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 18, 2013

Gaff linked me that situation room picture. A work of genius. And the pictures from EVE Fanfest with DBRB in his admiral’s uniform will pay off handsomely in the years to come.

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3. Bored - June 18, 2013

Good drone, nice drone, keep to the party line. Independent thought is bad thought and will be punished.

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4. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 18, 2013

@Bored – Good drone, nice drone, ignore what I actually wrote, toe the TEST party line and criticize whatever you fear.

I admired a piece of propaganda, called it out as such, and still you are afraid of it.

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5. Maxine - June 18, 2013

The thing I really don’t understand it thus: For someone who likes gaming so much and Eve in general why side on the CFC which is anti-fun and Eve breaking?

It don’t make a lick of sense.

FWIW, I live in w-space and have no ties to either side in the conflict. I observe just the facts.

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6. rimecat - June 18, 2013

I work for the DoD so relentless propaganda is certainly something I’ve dealt with most of my professional life but here’s the thing – in my experience organizations that take pains to paint themselves as negative are normally negative, even more so than those that try to convince you they are positive. Unless the rank and file really do take pleasure in ruining the fun of other people why operate under this image? Yes, it seems to be very good for winning a space war but where is the emotional or psychological payoff?

This isn’t an attack, I am honestly trying to figure out what the average Goon gets out of this sort of self image. A lot of it strikes me as going to a chess tournament with noise canceling earbuds after arranging for the room to be blasted with the loudest, most hideous music you can find. Yes, you are likely going to win but so what?

Given the direction of Pathfinder Online understanding this will be useful in two in three years.

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7. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 18, 2013

@Maxine & @rimecat – The thing with EVE is that, unlike your chess analogy, there is no level playing field in a null sec sov war. And each side tries to use their advantages as much as possible.

What “ruin their game” means in this context is not to go out and give the enemy the stand up fights that they want day in and day out. There are a number of TEST allies that appear to be in it for the fights as much as anything. Maybe they will stop logging in. The other side not logging in is what wins sov wars, as I wrote yesterday.

Instead we will likely begin a more asymmetric approach to the conflict. We’ll form fleets, which will force TEST to form up as well, only to call them off if we don’t have an advantage in numbers. Or we will form up fleets at hours of the day where we know we can get better numbers. Both sides have enough spies that they know when fleets are coming up and how many people are in them.

We will send out stealth bombers or expendable fleets to hit things at opposite sides of the region, or we’ll start attacking their back field or their supply chain or any one of a number of other alternatives.

Basically, we will start spreading the war out, forcing them to react to us. Which, I would point out, is not literally “ruining” the game for them and is, in fact, exactly what they have been trying to do to us with their myriad allies.

We’re at the chess tournament and the other side is already blaring loud music, so we’re going to play some of our own and we’re going to try and pick something that is not only loud, but which will annoy them as well. We might try to sabotage the batteries in their noise cancelling headphones while protecting our own. And the rules of the tournament allow all of this and more.

I think the problem you are running into with this sort of thing, at least in this null sec sov war context, is assuming that the Goons are willing to stoop to doing things nobody else would try. I assure you, that is not the case, that in this sort of sov war, there are no white hats who play it straight. The Goons merely don’t hide the fact they will use the resources at their disposal to win.

As for the image Goons get, in a game where you can never really divorce yourself from PvP, having a reputation as a group that will go to the mat over things, that will pull out all the stops to get you if you go after them, seems like an advantage.

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8. bhagpuss - June 18, 2013

I first came to hear of the Goons when I was looking into which Everquest server to move to back in god knows when. I guess it must have been 2001? It was certainly long before the 2006 event The Mittani mentions up there.

I forget the exact details but Goonswarm was either on a particular EQ server I was looking into or rumored to be about to move to one. The forums were alive with spleen and invective about it and the idea that Goons lived only for “ruining their gameplay to the point that they do not bother logging on” was widely held to be a fact.

Their image seems to have softened in recent times. I guess The Mittani wants to correct that slippage.

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9. sleepysam - June 18, 2013

How big is “fountain” in terms of % of the Eve universe?

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10. Wilhelm Arcturus - June 18, 2013

@Sleepysam – Fountain is a region of 115 systems in the northwestern part of the EVE universe. 7 of the systems in the region are NPC owned and cannot be taken.

Map link with the region circled.

See the next comment, which actually has correct numbers.

If I read the numbers right (and somebody correct me if I am wrong) there are ~7,500 solar systems on that map I linked, with conquerable null sec systems being a subset of that, and another ~2,500 in wormhole space which are not represented on the map. Though that ~7,500 number might include the ~2,500. The source I found wasn’t 100% clear.

So Fountain is something like 1-1.5% of the total game.

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11. Kalaratiri - June 18, 2013

@sleepysam

If we include wormhole space, Eve has 7930 systems. Fountain has 115 systems. This makes Fountain 1.45% of Eve’s total space.

Not including wormhole systems, Eve has 5431 systems. Fountain makes up 2.11% of this.

Only taking into account 0.0 there are 3524 systems. Fountain makes up 3.26% of this.

So much fuss for less than 4% of the territory available :P

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12. sleepysam - June 18, 2013

Interesting – thanks for breaking that down.

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13. Agent Lazuli - June 18, 2013

I think what a lot of people forget is that the Goons and its alliance members help generate a lot of the content in EVE Online. I run with a certain highsec miner ganking outfit (I am sure those in the know can guess who) and many of our members are Goons. Nothing gives me more joy than arriving in a system and commencing ganking operations on unsuspecting miners.

Our operation had its genesis in the original Hulkageddon and Burn Jita ops (the latter of which was Goon generated content). The benefit for miners is that they get a certain thrill out of playing our game (except for the AFK’ers and those running 15 bots). That is player generated content through conflict and the EVE universe is richer for it.

This is just one example of what Goons have brought to EVE. Also without the CFC you would have fairly stagnant space that would simply be a bunch of alliances agreeing not to disagree with no conflict. If you want to see the worst example of this then look no further than the Chinese EVE server where conflicts are discouraged and sov space never changes hands.

Imagine if the Goons had never existed and BoB ruled most of EVE. I can’t think of anything more boring.

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14. Gaff - June 19, 2013

Assuming that the Goons don’t have “fun” doesn’t make sense. I have a great time with them and they are one of the most organized entities in the game. They bring their new players out on day one to avoid the tedium of high sec and have created their own niche in the sandbox. You would be hard put to find another group so talked about in EVE–that is fun. Most people who condemn them as a group have not even been in a fleet, much less on comms with their members.

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15. SynCaine - June 19, 2013

EVE meta is the chess to all other MMO tictactoe meta. So good on so many levels.

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16. Potshot - June 19, 2013

Heroes need villains and villains need heroes.

I’m not sure I’m goon material, but can certainly value what they bring to the game. Dynamic player generated content on a grand scale.

To be virulently anti goon requires goon. That is something.

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