The New Meta – Valor? Cowardice? Mediocrity.

Johnny Crowe 2017-08-10

Nestled somewhere in the drug constellation OK-FEM, two VNI’s and six shots later, I find myself sitting here in this perch without much krabbing to be had. Sure, I could go to staging and sell off a mass of small vessels, buy another VNI and get back to the grind but at some point, enough is enough. Except for whiskey. There is never enough whiskey. I haven’t much thought about the past since I returned to New Eden. And sure, some of the ships look mildly different. Some of the major players and corporations and alliances all find themselves shuffled like a deck of cards, but these changes, these changes are not the ones I find myself thinking about. There is a more lurking change, the most foul, malevolent beast of a change: the mindset of players.

I remember when seeing a titan, a carrier, or a dreadnought was something special. Something you talked to your corp mates about in exaggerated tones, smiling ear to ear. The stories almost larger than life. These innocent days seem to have long since passed us all up. Now we have rules and guidelines for dealing with capital ships in corporations. We have OP Sec to protect them. Corporations have groups full of capitals filled with so many they have to be organized into subgroups to keep them in the same loops. You are likely wondering where I’m going with this, and at this point, maybe I am as well.

The point of this thought is the vast sea of Capital ships available to the null alliances. It used to just be the major alliances that could field them, now we have tech one fit titans out and about—you know who you are—and people taking skill injectors like tic-tacs.

Should these people be ashamed? No. Never. I remember the first dread I bought; it wasn’t even for me. It was a Christmas or ‘Holiday’ gift for one of my battle buddies. A Phoenix, and it felt like some great achievement that one of us could even fly one of these monstrosities. Fly may be too strong of a word. Perhaps “sit in” is more appropriate of that time. I still remember doing the deal with a pubbie. They delivered the dread to a lowsec system we had a form of minor presence in. As my battle buddy and I lost contact over the years, I’ll never know what happened to that Phoenix, but I like to think he welped it in a blaze of glory.

By now you’re likely thinking, “lots of caps, big whoop”. But this article isn’t about the number of caps; it’s about the change to how they are deployed. There was a time when these behemoths were considered flag ships, something you coveted, kept hidden, never left. They were stories to keep young corporations in check. “Stay off our grass or we’ll drop a titan on you!” was mostly an idle threat in the years past, but as the amount of these grew vast, so did the way the pilots chose to deploy them.

I was flying through BoB space a few weeks back, it wasn’t a combat mission, nor a roam, just the back way into FCON’s space. As I said, it wasn’t for combat purposes, I was merely heading out to a system I used to live in once upon a time. I was in a Crow, my usual ship for a mission like this. Fast, nimble, immune to bubbles, what could ever go wrong? I went through mostly empty TEST space and into Band of Backstabber’s sov space. I was maybe ten or so jumps out from my destination when pilots started getting thicker in local.

Five jumps out from FCON space is when it happened. I came through a gate and did the stupidest thing I could in enemy space. Warped to the outgate at zero, without celestial jumping first. When I arrived on the gate, there it was. A titan, Amarrian. And waiting for me. Quickly, he engulfed me with the prettiest of light shows, but my poor Crow somehow managed to survive it. I had three percent hull remaining. Excellent, real men tank by the skin of their nuts anyway. At this point, I started celestial bouncing before jumping to gates hoping I would be away from their doomsday, and bombs. Each gate I passed through had a few capital sized vessels waiting for me on the gate. Couple titans here, few carriers there, anything stupid they could drop was waiting for me.

Like any good booster running pilot worth his weight in gas I managed to make my way into FCON space and firesale the junk I had made the trip for. OP Success, but the trip stuck with me since, and now I sit here wondering. Why do we feel the need to drop capitals on every little piece of trash that blows through a system? There is a word that is sort of a taboo word for goons, but I’ll use it now to relate to you all not flying with us: content. This new way, this new-drop-on-everything-that-comes-through mindset hurts what a lot of people complain about, ‘Content.’ Trust me, I get it, we’re bored, we have too much ISK, it’s funny. All of your points are true, but so is mine.

Getting fights

Those alliances—looking at you Brave—who don’t drop capitals on everything get much more content. Everyone wants to go there and fight them. You can still get good fights. Until our mindset changes, I’m afraid fast moving groups, welp fleets, and fleets too afraid to truly commit to the fight are all we will really see. This is in no way is the opinion of Imperium News, nor of GSF. It very well may be the opinion of Jack Daniels. I worried what would come when I wrote my first controversial article like this, one I knew the powers that be wouldn’t agree with. Unfortunately, keeping my mouth shut is not something I ever put in the skill queue. Even in the Army, I was the guy who’d say what he wants, consequences be damned.

I’m Johnny Crowe saying watch your six, and keep on the lookout for cyno’s.

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  • Pew Pew

    “Those alliances who don’t drop capitals on everything get much more content.”

    Is your broader proposal to play suboptimally in order to get more fights? I think this can be a reasonable approach, solo PVP is pretty much based on it.

    In general I think one of the issues with EVE is that everyone wants to win fights and no one wants to lose. Imagine a chess league where you could choose not to play people you didn’t want to lose to, how many games would take place? People would generally only play with people who were a similar skill level, they would avoid strong players and be avoided by weak players.

    I think the answer to this is a PVP food chain, where people at the bottom have incentives to fly around in space in weak ships which are reasonably easy to catch (miners, haulers, explorers etc).

    August 10, 2017 at 7:55 am
    • Rammel Kas Pew Pew

      I think the solo rule is a bit broader: bring something you know they will bite on. This can for example include using bigger things if you know your target audience is a PL or Imperium in peacetime. Much like Stunt was doing flying a Nidhoggur in Delve shortly before the Imperium deployment.

      August 10, 2017 at 9:24 am
  • Sylphinja the Dark Rose

    Brave is going NRDS?

    August 10, 2017 at 8:26 am
  • Johnny Crowe

    Ohno brave shoots at everything, but among the many corps I’ve been with. I often find us going to GE or V-3 to look for a fight. If brave dropped 12 titans and 30 carriers on every rifter pilot that flew through, I’m pretty sure GE or V-3 would not be as popular for fun frig friday roams.As for fighting suboptimally, I get it, really I do. Let me ask you in another way,if more is better. Then why isn’t jerking off with two hands the meta? I like fights where things are at stake. If you dropped 20 supers on a shuttle what are you really risking? Don’t answer any of my questions, just a crazy writers food for thought.

    August 10, 2017 at 10:10 am
  • Xa1n

    Thanks Johnny for your post. I have seen people who have a stack of killmails for a system and I could not figure how they were able to kill every ship that came through regardless of size. I was just scrolling down their kills and when I clicked on one of the killmails I saw they were in a Titan.
    Ilooked at another, same thing on each killmail they used their doomsday weapon. Obviously for lols, but when they get hotdropped the smile will come off their face I suppose.
    Most would agree that over the years supers have increased exponentially. EVE wanted to see its supers keep their extraordinary power so we only have ourselves to blame for the vast number of them in existence.

    August 10, 2017 at 10:34 am
  • Alaric Faelen

    It’s just the ultimate expression of power creep.
    You can apply the ‘remember when….?’ meme to almost all aspects of the game now.

    Remember when fleets were cheap as possible and loss was the norm? Now it’s titans sitting around shooting travel ceptors.
    Remember when seeing a couple T3’s in a fleet meant someone had money to burn? Now hundreds of ‘rare’ ships like T3’s and pirate faction are the core ship of the line for casual roams.
    Remember when it took more than a couple dudes with casino money to influence the game?
    Remember when SP meant something? Now 100mil SP isn’t years of investment in the game but rather an hour spent plugging in skill injectors on the day you spawn the character.
    Remember when being able to fly sub-caps mattered? Like, at all? Now it’s if you can’t fly a capital, go join the newbie/Alpha corp of an alliance.
    Remember when farming meant a few accounts to multibox bombers or a ratting/salvage/hauling fleet? Now it’s hundreds of accounts that do nothing but collect SP for extraction.

    All of Eve has seen the creeping grip of isk (largely via farming). It’s not an inflation issue where the money is devalued for common items, but rather where rare or supposedly unattainable items become as common as accidental autocannon deaths at a Matari wedding. Eve has become the Dubai of MMO’s- where regular police patrol cars are Lamborghini and a starter home has 15 bedrooms and gold plated toilets.

    August 10, 2017 at 1:53 pm
    • Johnny Crowe Alaric Faelen

      You get it. Thanks for your reply man.

      August 10, 2017 at 11:18 pm
  • Daito Endashi

    We really need someone regularly dreadbombing these eager titan-droppers to where they belong =)

    August 11, 2017 at 9:45 am
  • CK

    Want to “make Eve great again?”. It’s simple; 3rd server where everything starts at zero. New map, new characters, unclaimed sov, same set of rules. Simple, but hard and expensive for a second set of hardware to run it. Use it to iterate on ideas like player-built-stargates, faction warfare, and NPC AI holding space.

    August 11, 2017 at 12:12 pm