Art by Cryo Huren
The EVE meta is an everchanging beast, and with the war in Delve and the rise of Fraternity, many have been voicing their complaints with the current fiasco surrounding blobbing. What’s more, these events have been showing the breaking points of some players willing to sit through hours of tidi and the limits of the servers themselves.
But what exactly is blobbing? Opinions differ, but generally blobbing is the practise of using large numbers to overwhelm an enemy and kill them. Its name is derived from the shape a large number of ships make when they fleet warp. It is often used in conjunction with the term F1 monkey and is generally seen as a long-skill low-risk way of winning fights, although this depends on who you ask. Due to this it is seen as a threat to the game and an overpowered tactic.
The word “blob” is one of the most widely misused terms in EVE and it’s one that few people agree on a definition of. To some, a fleet is only a blob if it has hundreds of ships in it. To others, a gang of 15 battleships hunting their lone frigate would be considered a blob. For the purposes of game mechanic discussion, a blob is really just a fleet that’s so large it causes normal fleet warfare to break or encounter problems that make it a lot less fun for those involved.Brendan Drain, Engadget
Strangling Content, Or Not?
But how is blobbing a problem you may ask. Well by flooding the field with ships in order to overpower your enemies, you are effectively strangling content. Blobbing draws the game away from focusing on cap management, range control, weapon application and many other things, and simplifies it down to following FC and clicking F1. This erosion of complex gameplay can be described as dumbing it down and stripping away all the enjoyment gotten from outsmarting and outperforming your enemy. What’s worse is that when you consistently blob it forces others to follow suit. This repeats until blobbing becomes the dominant way to fight. Good luck finding small gang or solo PvP after blobbing becomes the standard.
It might seem strange, but blobbing can also be a positive addition. It is an easy way to introduce newbies to EVE without putting excessive pressure on them to perform. Sometimes the stress of failure can reduce new players’ enjoyment of EVE and also can stop seasoned players from utilising newbies on fleets, as they see them as liabilities. When in a large fleet, however, everyone contributes a little so a newbie can pitch in without the skill levels that a smaller operation might require.
Blobbing also serves as an important counter to expensive ships, as some blingy ships need many people to effectively take them down. Say someone brings a bling-fit Raven into a ratting system. You will most likely have no proper counter to that in your ship hanger, however if you band together (blob-up) in smaller ships you can eliminate the threat.
Blobbing Has A Place
It is then obvious that blobbing has a place in EVE, and whether you like it or not it is here to stay. Blobbing will cause others to follow suit as it is easiest to fight fire with fire, so to speak. One of the best counters to a fleet larger then one’s own, however, is outmaneuvering and outsmarting your opponent. Skill still remains the biggest factor of success, and there are many instances where a large blob is simply outmatched by a smaller more experienced an agile fleet. This is an example where FC skill is much more effective than how many ships you have. Some alliances simply don’t take the risk to invest in good FCs and this can be hard when hours of time and effort are on the line. If you can, try and give FCs a bit more room to move and experiment, slowly over time you might see fleets gradually getting smaller in size and focus on honing their skills.