The Art of Blobbing

2021-02-08

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. Whatโ€™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 donโ€™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.

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Comments

  • Simon Chui

    I think a lot of people who complain about blobbing don’t really understand the amount of work that goes into motivating and organising a few hundred or a few thousand nerds to do the same thing at the same time. Leading a big group of people is a real pain in the ass, and those who are capable and willing to do it deserves the advantage it gives them.

    February 11, 2021 at 1:23 AM
  • Jacob Reynoso

    part of the reason I’m actively playing now, having recently given money to CCP after…a decade (or more?), is ‘big fights’.
    I can see the appeal of ‘small gang’ stuff, but part of the reason I joined KF/GSF was to join in the ‘big war’ and become an ‘F1 monkey’.

    Maybe it does ‘dumb it down’, and while it may not be the rush of a 1v1 or small gang fight, being in a fleet of hundreds, watching ships get deleted shortly after you get that lock + hitting F1, or wondering if you’ll get deleted next, sometimes waiting for seconds to see if your hitting of F1 even registered because of TiDi…it’s fun.
    A big contributor to that ‘fun’ probably are the Imperium’s FCs. I’m practically a noob, so I don’t think I’d be a good judge in terms of FC quality, but what complaints I may have are probably minor (e.g., would be nice if the FC always says the state of a gate before the fleet lands on it (but I understand they may be busy on other comms)). Most, if not all, fleets I’ve been in felt competently led…and, thus, fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

    February 11, 2021 at 8:18 AM
    • Berth Ljunggren Jacob Reynoso

      Imagine fighting over 1DQ 1 v 1 at the sun ๐Ÿ™‚

      February 11, 2021 at 8:03 PM
      • Deni'z von Meanace Berth Ljunggren

        Mittani vs. pgl + vily on the M2 KS undock. All or nothing.

        February 11, 2021 at 9:58 PM
  • The ship meta right now is disgustingly broken: bring HAC and logi and if the other guy brings them too then just bring MORRRREEEEEE.

    – ADC is broken
    – Logistics cruisers are way overpowered (the T1 versions play out OK in practice, as you can overwhelm them with focused fire in anything but the smallest of small-gang fights)
    – Node contests by their format encourage blobbing: the easiest way to win is to have enough people that you can park a full HAC fleet on each one (or a majority of nodes) concurrently

    I’m literally so sick of fighting the endless waves of HACs and logis. Logi are ridiculous: they’ve made it so you can’t fight anything anymore unless you have enough alpha to one-shot targets. There are guys running around who won’t even undock until they get 10-12 logis together, and if you can’t bring A) the same number of logi for your side and B) enough DPS to push through those logi reps (which accumulate faster for each additional ship than DPS does– each additional logi adds ~1200 DPS tanked, which is way faster than you can scale up applied DPS in any reasonable way) you just wipe completely and kill literally nothing. We brawled a Cerbfleet the other day with Hurricanes + T1 logi cruisers and couldn’t even kill their goddamn Sabre. A SABRE! The wet paper-bag of EVE!

    IMO CCP should remove T2 logi and remove the ADC module, at least. Nobody wants to show up to a fight where they can’t kill anything at all because their tryhard opponent spent 8b isk on a T2 cruiser gang and refuses to fight any time they dip below 10 logi. That’s not healthy gameplay. But more broadly speaking CCP have seriously fucked up the balance of ships in general– it used to be that gaining “bigger” stats meant an accompanying tradeoff in terms of mobility, locktime, and ability to apply damage to smaller targets. But ships like T3Ds, T2 frigates and T2 cruisers have basically rendered all larger ships totally obsolete– they have the tank, the range, and crazy mobility (which means there’s no way to “beat” an opposing gang– the second you break their reps they can just warp out, since HACs can quickly zoom out of bubbles and shred tacklers). There’s a gaping hole in the ship meta bewtween HACs and capital ships where basically nothing is viable anymore. Campaigns have basically been reduced to, “Who can field more Cerbs + Muninns at the same time?” Or on rare occasions, “Also who can field the most titans at the same time?” Everything in between is irrelevant. If you have 30 guys and the other dudes have 50 guys, you’re not gonna fight because the best you can do is field the same HACs as them but fewer. If you can’t get more pilots, there’s no way to “ship up” into something that affords you a better shot at competing, because there are no better ships. The situation at the coalition level looks similar– the numbers just get bigger.

    February 13, 2021 at 6:36 AM