Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Goons bring the numbers

As TheMittani himself explained a while ago: Goonswarm has an edge over other alliances, when it comes to new player retention in Eve Online. All goons are part of the somethingawful.com community: when new goon pilots join, they are immediately .."surrounded by their fellows, ushered into massive alliance warfleets, mentored by veteran players, and showered with isk and ships". A normal newbie Eve Online pilot on the other hand, (an 'Eve born' as Mittens calls them), is often alone and confused, usually forced to overcome the learning cliff by themselves. A more difficult experience! This translates into player retention: goon pilots are more likely to become or remain an active pilot after their trial ends, largely due to the support of their pre existing out of game network. In the same vein, Test Alliance Please Ignore originates from Reddit.com, and likewise is able to bring a lot of dudes in space.

TL;DR: Goons have an easy time recruiting new pilots when compared to traditional 'eve born' alliances; Goons (and TEST) have the numbers. Over 14.000 pilots between the two of them, actually.

Mittens has used the numerical advantages of the Goonswarm in securing a a place in CSM6 for himself. A place which he has used effectively, promoting the CSM to a much more important position than before.

Earlier today, CCP Greyscale posted an item in the Eve Forums (not even a devblog..?), about an upcoming nerf to Titans. I won't go into the details, mostly because I don't know enough about Titans anyway, but the intended effect of the nerf is to severely limit a Titan's effect against subcapital ships. You won't, it seems, be able to kill large amounts of subcap ships with Titans anymore.

This means that sov warfare in Eve Online will become a numbers game: the alliance that can field the most subcap ships will have a clear advantage over alliances that are now relying on supercapitals and/or Titans to project power. I know that in New Eden, superior FC'ing or excellent use of strategy and tactics may give an outnumbered fleet an incidental victory over a numerically superior enemy. But, all things being equal, it's increasingly likely that raw numbers will - in the end - make the difference, once the Titan nerf goes into effect.

Time to adapt your strategy or up your numbers, then, if your current survival strategy relies on supercapitals! So how much time have those alliances been given? How much time do they have left?  In CCP Greyscale's words:
"These changes should hit TQ some time in April. If there is a sizable release in April then expect them to turn up then; if not then we'll announce deployment dates for these changes closer to the time."
In other words: CCP doesn't know or doesn't want to say - yet. CCP has just provided all alliances relying on their Titans, with a very uncertain deadline of anything between two to six weeks before their current strategy becomes useless. Two to six weeks.. that is awfully short notice. There is no way in Jita that an alliance like RAIDEN. can find a way to overcome the drawbacks of this nerf, in such a short timeframe. Where are they supposed to get the raw numbers that Goons have, in two weeks? Everybody knows it's impossible, and the amount of goon gloat and :smug: on the forums in this regard is telling.

With this nerf, CCP is interfering directly with the balance of power in New Eden as it is now. This is their right, and perhaps they even have to from time to time, but it should not be done without allowing alliances to properly adapt before the nerf goes in effect. I cannot for the life of me come up with a sound reason as to why CCP hasn't done that here. But it sure makes Goons happy, and I can't help myself but to think that their ability to 'bring the numbers' - read subscription fees for CCP - might have something to do with it.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Shame that our enemies are clearly unprepared for what has been a long-overdue rebalance, isn't it? Turns out that dogpiling as many high-SP bittervets into one alliance as possible with the aim of ushering them into titans isn't the most optimal alliance policy.

Sered Woollahra said...

I don't necessarily disagree with either one of the comments above; getting hotdropped by a few supers isn't all that fun. But, I was pointing out that by bringing the changes 'somewhere in April', CCP is giving those suffering the drawbacks of the nerf an awful short time to adapt.

Chanina said...

If you have a equal fight, there is a saying that in that case, both FCs had miss judged the situation ;-)

Also there are several fleet doctrines out their which give a variety of options especially to an alliance full of vets.

But i must agree, goons and test have an advantage here. But maybe some day the other major alliances can find a common target (goons) and unite there forces. Would be pretty funny to see that.
And i'm really not a fan for "Death2Supers". They are a useful asset in game an degrading them to mobile jump bridges only makes many people angry and the problem of force projection still exist especially for alliances with large numbers.

I hope CCP finds a decent solution for the problem and finds a good role for titans and SCarrier. I would think of something like a mobile reshipment base where the grunts can reship faster.