Extra post this week, because this subject came up in corp and it annoyed me enough to put the book on hold for an hour or so.
30Plus has always had one major underlying dogma; no requirements, do what you want. This philosophy was at its zenith during our tenure under PBLRD, when our hold on space simply required corp tax to pay for it.
Home defense was completely optional, with no metric attached. However, we witnessed a marvel. An astonishing phenomena that took us all by surprise. The longer we lived in PBLRD space, the more people joined in home defense.
It started badly, naturally. Clueless and wealthy, we literally adorned the systems with our expensive wrecks. I’m sure hostile entities must have loved coming to our area at that time, going away with cargo holds full of lovely faction and dead-space loot. But, again, over time things changed. We started to learn, albeit very slowly. We were suddenly killing things, occasionally. Then more often, and in the end, roaming gangs would avoid our pocket altogether, because jumping into our home system was likely to end badly for the visitor.
Comms were alive with banter, laughter, and yells of “Point!”, “Webbed”, “Neuted”, and (my personal favorite) “He’s dead.”.
Our glorious CEO did his best to keep our kill-board red, with rage roams into providence in faction fit suicide marauders, but it just wasn’t enough anymore. We were PVP’ing, and having an absolute ball!
Then, FozzieSov happened.
For us, it ended what was undoubtedly 30Plus’ finest hour. PBLRD was disbanded, and we were left looking for a home. Renting was perfect for us, and we were the perfect renter corp, playing Eve Online in a way CCP never intended, and it was awesome.
Unfortunately, it was all based on a broken sovereignty system, and I don’t bemoan its passing, in that regard. We found a home with Fidelas Constans, which is a fit for us, sort of.
You see, we play Eve as a game. We log in, do whatever we want, hang out with the boys in Mumble, wind each other up and log off once the sleeping pills or pain-killers take a hold.
Over the last few months, though, I’ve seen a slow decline in everything. Numbers logged in, numbers in Mumble, actual speaking in Mumble, practical jokes, and so on.
Much discussion now centers around how to create content to rekindle the family spirit, but one cannot create that which just happens. The factors which produced the most memorable gaming experience of my life simply don’t exist at the moment.
What has caused this? The dreaded PAP link. I would dearly love to take whoever was responsible for making this atrocity, and introduce him to the lovely wildlife of my native Australia. Taipan, Tiger Snake, Box Jelly Fish, Funnel-Web Spider, and finish it off with a nice, refreshing swim with a White Pointer.
The PAP link is a failure of a metric, and I’ll explain my reasoning on this. 30Plus found the formula for the perfect Eve Online experience, and it is the polar opposite of PAP links. The PAP link system provides a way for a pilot to say “I was there” when a fleet is called for whatever reason. This, in turn creates an environment of “I was there” which leads to “Were YOU there?” which segues into “Why weren’t you there?” leading into “You’d better be there next time, or else!”.
The system we had produced an environment of “Aww, crap! I wasn’t there!”
Can you see the difference? You know, it wouldn’t really matter why the fleet was called, if the fleet itself was fun to be in. Here’s the rub; they AREN’T fun to be in, a lot of the time. Instead of ensuring the FC makes a fight enjoyable, alliances force people into fleets with the PAP stick, guaranteeing they aren’t fun, because of the very compulsory nature of the fleet in the first place.
It is a definite psychological effect, the making of something compulsory. For instance, I’m a drummer, and have been for 26 years. I’ve played in just about every genre you can name, and I generally love it. I reached the top of my game some years ago when I joined an 11 piece funk band, playing my favorite music for damn good money.
However, the manager was a twit. He would chase everyone up with constant nagging, “Get to practice, you’re not early enough, you missed a note in song 5, what’s the deal?” You get the idea. Guess what? I quit. The best band I have ever been in, the biggest opportunity I ever had, playing to hundreds and sometimes thousands of people, signing sticks and getting my photo taken with people I didn’t know. And I quit.
Why? Because that manager made it un-fun. He created an environment of tension and hostility, which eventually affected the music, and our enjoyment of it.
PAP links are no different to that idiot. They take a GAME (important thing to remember, that) and make it un-fun. FC’s raging in alliance chat with “Get the **** in fleet”, and haranguing their fleet members with pompous arrogance make it un-fun. Because of this retarded mentality, alliances become toxic places that kill corps, sucking the fun out of Eve and turning it into a job.
The thing that makes the situation absolutely farcical, though, is none of the above. Not at all. The really stupid thing about the PAP link is that it is now redundant.
Think about it.
So, an alliance has a PAP requirement, (whatever)% of corp membership per month must produce PAPs. Now, under FozzieSov, an alliance cannot leave its space for very long, without the indices dropping and the NPC null-sec/wormholer crowd a-calling. Alliances across New Eden are either leaving sovereignty space, or contracting to an area they can defend.
Therefore, the only actual fleet requirements are for home defense, something which doesn’t actually need a fleet anyway, but we form a fleet because reasons. Most of those reasons are along the lines of we wouldn’t have a clue how to small-gang PVP, but I digress.
So, alliances like FCON are forming fleets to go on roams, because they have no reason to fleet up otherwise, just to create a generator for PAP-links. These PAP links are required so that corps can stay in the alliance, by doing something the alliance doesn’t actually need done. In the meantime, those same alliances are doing their best to divest themselves of PVE players, who they do need, because they can’t hold their space without indices, which can only be generated by PVE, which doesn’t generate PAPs.
Monty Python, eat your heart out.
This ludicrous situation rolls on, meanwhile. But, alliances will lose in the long run, unless they stop whining and sulking and embrace the change. What they need to do is recognize the same thing CCP has already, very obviously, recognized. PVP is a very small part of a much larger whole in sovereignty null-sec. Indeed, PVP is a very small part of Eve Online. If CCP did not recognize this (which their own figures at FanFest last year clearly showed), then why would they base a sovereignty system upon indices which cannot be affected by PVP?
PVP is how you take space, and the people that already own space need to wake up to this fact.
Because PVE is how you hold space once you have it.
Get rid of the toxic PAP system. Alliance leaderships, get off your lazy arses and make the game fun for ALL your alliance members, not just the 8%.
Use it, or lose it.