Why do we fight?

So people actually read the blog, it seems, and I can’t get away with saying whatever the hell I want anymore (without anyone noticing). That doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing whatever I’m thinking, though. I’m too far in now. 🙂

Anyway, one reader decided to discuss my last post with me, in particular, the insulted tone I layered on when I described the incoming enemy forces, when initially, we were planning on going after what we believed to be a lone Tengu with four men in the first place. Indeed, after he baited us into fighting, it would still seem we were not playing fair, and by that assumption, I could not say that his comment about us being cowards could be ignored because he was one, because we actually made a cowardly move trying to gank his Tengu.

Not even sure if that makes sense.

I had to concede that point, of course, because it was true. We did try to go after the Tengu with more firepower than we probably needed, even though as we also discussed, it probably was not the most optimal four ships we could’ve brought against that Tengu.

Words. Merely organised ink on paper, or in our case pixels on the screen. The biggest reason behind this reader’s criticism was not the actual fight, but why I used words to make myself seem like the good guy at all, when really, the other side could’ve been the hero of the story, outsmarting me and my dimwitted friends. The straight answer is, of course, bias. I try not to make myself appear a knight in shining armour but sometimes I can’t resist being just a knight.

I wonder though, whether I really had to write 1300 or so words to make myself appear right? Because it didn’t actually make me feel better. I finished the post and it left me with a queasy feeling in my stomach, but I went ahead and dropped it into the blog because… I had just finished downloading Howl’s Moving Castle. Watching that made me feel better. Good times.

It did let me organise my thoughts on the matter though; I tend to think about every loss I incur in PvP a lot anyway. And combined with some events today, I seem to have drawn a conclusion that we might just be…

Getting ahead of ourselves.

Today, a player new to our PvP roams got on a killmail, and he asked the most damning question to the fleet: “What is this killmail worth?”

We responded with assorted answers, ranging from satisfaction… to satisfaction… okay, there wasn’t really any assortment of answers at all. It got me thinking, well, why did we do it? I try to keep my mind open to other views, and here was one. One of our members questioned the necessity to be acquiring killmails at all, something most of the other guys who have been frequently roaming with us have never really asked.

Why did we fight? I’ll admit, when I couldn’t think of a reason that I could just confidently shout forth as to why I valued that one killmail, for a brief moment all the PvP I had done prior was… empty.

Of course, personally I PvP for the fight. From solo PvP until now, leading pilots into fights as a fleet, I do it because I love the rush of a fight whose outcome hasn’t already been decided when I warp in.

But why did the alliance fight? That’s a question I have to ask myself now, because this guy has just pointed out that not everyone in the alliance may see PvP like I do. And I want to slap myself for assuming that was the case. Of course everyone didn’t fight for the fight. Some people wanted victory; these are the ones I’ve been trying to satisfy on our roams. Others need more of a reason to fight, rather than for simple bragging rights like the rest of us.

One reason I’ve come up with, of course, is proof we’re active. One of the most easiest ways to glean some understanding of a player or group of players in EVE is to check their killboard. An alliance with a highly active killboard usually means they will have an active player base, amongst other things.

A second reason, is prestige. Right now the killboard isn’t amazing, but it’s been going up, and this progress has been the best indicator of our growth in our chosen profession as pirates than anything else. As it gets better, it will be a way to sum up our achievements to date, a trophy shelf, if you will.

But this recent wardec, and the excellent question on why we fought for killmails, brings me to a jarring halt at the head of our relentless pursuit of prestige and power. It makes me wonder how we sustain our fighting. I fall back to reality. Who are we? A new pirate alliance. As experienced as we may become, right now, we’re flying frigates because that’s all our players can lose frequently. Income for most players seem to be coming in the unsustainable form of buying PLEX. Whenever one of our members shrug off a loss with “I’ll just get another PLEX”, I grimace. That’s not the mentality I want, and that’s not the mentality that will make us a force that can fight a tough campaign, perhaps mess up, and still be able to continue on.

I remember all the worries I had about us shooting off ahead of ourselves, jumping right into PvP against much more resourced, much older corporations. I’ve been ignoring them because we’ve had a glorious couple of months lately, but I can’t let myself ignore it for long. The question of sustainability is a very real question that every entity in EVE has to ask themselves. I cannot sustain the alliance myself even if I ran incursions until my eyes bled.

We need to take a step backwards. I just don’t want to seem as if I’m holding everyone back because of unfounded fears. For now, I think it’s safe to quietly brainstorm options. But I do know that we can’t entomb ourselves to a life of shooting frigates in FW space for the remainder of our careers.

And around now, I wonder if I’m being too worrisome. Maybe there isn’t a problem at all, and I’m chasing ghosts. Since it’s my first time in this position, I will remind my future self if you decide to come back and read this that I am very uncertain as to what the future holds for the alliance. Hindsight may render everything crystal-clear, but right now, my foresight is limited to the next few minutes: heading to bed.

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9 thoughts on “Why do we fight?”

  1. I both love and hate kill mails. On the one hand, on the rare occasion I get one, I do get a little thrill of satisfaction. On the other hand, kill mails are not an indicator of anything, really. I’ve been on fleet fights where I didn’t get any kill mails at all and others where I lucked out and got on several. Does this mean I’m good or bad at PVP? Does it mean I’m active or inactive? And what about the logi and the logistics folks? If they’re on kill mails, they’re doing something wrong 🙂

    Why do we fight, though? For all the reasons you mentioned, really. I could never fight just to fight on a long term; EVE PVP really isn’t that much fun, from my perspective. I’m an old-school grognard, so I generally need a reason to fight, but even then, I prefer not to fight all the time. Just as PVPers don’t get how someone could enjoy doing non-PVP activities, I don’t get the supposed fun that PVP is supposed to generate 🙂

    I’ve been in ‘pure PVP’ groups and I’ve found many are unsustainable precisely because they rely on “We fight for…because we fight!” to keep folks active. Sadly, most PVPers don’t understand the enjoyment that comes from mining or industry or ratting or structure bashing – and I’m serious here :). From the grunt’s perspective, you could probably fight because you’re pirates, but leadership should at least have a reason to fight. They should also find ways to keep people doing stuff, in EVE or in other games, once the initial flare of activity starts to die off.

    Once you start growing out of the small group of link-minded people you started with, you do need to start taking into account the differing motivations of the new people coming in; you need to give a little bit to everyone to keep them all active. Or, as we were taught in leadership school, Know your men and promote their welfare.

    As long as those players who fun their PVP via plex are happy to do so, don’t worry about it; there will always be EVE players who have that kind of money. Just make sure you’re coming up with ways for players without that kind of cash to make enough isk in-game so they can continue to log in. Organized, solo, guides and suggestions, whatever, doesn’t matter as long as you guys have some way to generate isk.

    P.S. BTW, have you considered PI? Takes about 3 weeks to train a toon to efficiently do PI and once done can generate a respectable amount of passive income.

    1. Thanks for the insights! Some of that advice I’ll definitely be thinking about in the near future.

      As for PI, that’s certainly an option I can suggest to people. I didn’t take well to it and got bored eventually but others might love it. Also, I only invested a couple of days training into PI.

      1. Oh, don’t get me wrong, PI isn’t that exciting, but it IS lucrative. Players that invest the time to train Command Centre and Interplanetary Consolidation to 4 should be able to pull out a not-insignificant amount of passive isk/day, week, month, whatever 🙂

    1. I agree. However I’ve had good arguments with the guy who said otherwise, and he does have more experience than me, so I shut up and let him talk. Frankly, if we do see a Tengu again I’ll still bring whatever I can, until I’m more confident with combating T3s. 😛

      1. They’re the strongest of the T3s too, though that can be mitigated somewhat depending on if the pilot wants to fit tackle (and how much) as well.

        Frankly, a Tengu pilot with good skills, combat boosters and experience is going to be a tough ask on any small fleet.

        I think I read somewhere that the T3 cruisers are due a balance pass. It will be interesting to see how that pans out.

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