When it comes to recruiting, one of the biggest mistakes I believe a corp in eve can make is to go for a broad appeal to garner a healthy growth. Recruitment ads say something along the lines of, “We enjoy all aspects of the game; wormholes, PVP, low-sec, exploration, PVE, and hope to establish a base in null-sec soon.”
That right there is a recipe for a corp to slowly dwindle into eventual inactivity.
The most successful corps all have one thing in common; a strong narrative and a tight focus.
30Plus is for players over thirty years of age, who enjoy a casual play style. The corp charter forbids profanity, griefing, discussion of politics and/or religion, and promotes active comms. That is quite a narrow band of focus, yet we are growing constantly. Other corps have tight restrictions on PVP participation and green kill-boards, and they enjoy a similar growth. The best wormhole corps are entirely focused in that direction, and it is like that with just about every play-style you can imagine.
If your corp has a focus toward one play-style, you will fill the corp with players who enjoy that game-play and have a common bond ready-made. A corp with a broad focus has potential drama and tension at every turn, and members will all be, naturally, trying to push the corp towards their preferred activity.
This is a common problem in sovereignty null-sec, with most corps having to cover a broad range of activities to keep their place in the alliance. FozzieSov has pushed that even further, with PVE now a necessary component in the ability to hold sovereignty. This makes for some strange bedfellows indeed. It is placing even more pressure on sovereignty holding alliances.
The biggest issue is the parochial nature of Eve players. There has always been a fairly strong, “I’m right, you’re wrong,” philosophy on both sides. This division has been exacerbated by many PVE ratting types promising the earth and delivering a handful of dirt when it comes to PVP participation. It’s ironic, in a way, that this situation has led to the FC’s becoming less tolerant and more abusive toward those who don’t join fleets.
However, I think the problem lies with the fact that the existing composition of alliances who hold space is erroneous, and the leaders of these alliances lack either the imagination or the political will to deal effectively with the situation. This problem is exacerbated by the general population of said alliances being against change, too.
These people are clinging desperately to a construct that, under FozzieSov, will not endure. The principle is simple; everyone must PVP, or we lose our space. Yeah…sort of…well, not really…umm, no. That mentality is why FC’s struggle to fill fleets, and will continue to do so, until they either wake up and smell the roses, or pack up and leave.
Let’s take a step back and see if we can’t refocus on the whole fleet thing, and see it from a fresh angle.
FCON is currently on deployment in Pure Blind, and is fielding fleets to do stuff. But, the question hangs in the air, why? The reason is not that elusive. Papa Goon wants a nice comfortable buffer of space to ensure his homeland remains cosy and secure. Cloud Ring and surrounding areas are in need of a cleansing to rid the area of the unwashed masses. In other words, Mittens wants to play Eve circa 2013, rather than the game as it is.
The whole idea of the changes wrought upon the game is to make it impractical for big organizations to hold space they don’t actually use. By and large, it’s working as intended. But, the situation is chafing at the big organizations, and all of them struggle to comprehend the shifted landscape that surrounds them. From what I’ve seen in Pure Blind, they’re not adapting well.
I went on a long fleet last night, to do…stuff. We camped a gate, roamed a bit, blew up a few unfortunate sods and ran away when Le Blob was inbound. What the hell for? Well, nothing, really. To get 2 PAPs, and enjoy some pew. It was fun, don’t get me wrong; but it had no purpose. Outside of collecting PAPs to show Papa Goon we’re right behind him.
As far as sovereignty goes, it was pointless. There are fleets going out on strat-ops to capture nodes and take back space, but as soon as we go home, those systems will fall again, because Mittens has no intention of using the space we capture.
This takes us back to the problem of filling fleets. It’s the lack of any real purpose that undermines the ability of FCs to get butts in fleets. Eve players are, by and large, not children. They see the pointless nature of these operations and feel very meh about going, because it has no real point to it. Our guys are doing great in collecting the dreaded PAPs, but it’s mainly done to give Goons the middle finger, because they despise us for our way of doing things.
But, we get things done without threats, without punishment, and without insults, because we recognize our members are all adults who demand a level of dignity they don’t find outside 30Plus. The most effective way to get guys to join fleets is because it’s an act of defiance to the people who require the fleets? Yep, that’s right. Our guys know that by hauling in the PAPs, Goons are being denied the result they want, which is for us to be proved a bunch of useless care-bears.
It’s farcical, but true.
Here’s the thing; if alliances want to fill fleets, they need to do two things. One, make sure the fleet has a clear and stated purpose. One that matters to the line members. Two, make the collection of fleet members both respectful and encouraging, not demanding and replete with insults.
I’ll take this one step further, though.
How about alliances alter their philosophy entirely? What about changing the composition of alliances to a body of corporations with singular, but disparate, focus points? PVP corps with members who concentrate on securing alliance space and assets by careful preparation and planning. They also foster home defense with non-PVP corps through pro-active training. Industry corps focus on building ships and equipment designated by the PVP corps as required for current and future meta fits. PVE corps that are tasked with managed responsibility for keeping indices maintained, not in one or two cherry-picked systems, but ALL the alliance’s systems. That alliance then grows its membership in directions that it needs, recruiting corps to fill whatever niche may have a lack. Thus, no corp could declare itself the most important, because ALL the corps are important.
Most critical of all, every alliance member has a reason to log in and be enthusiastic about doing what they enjoy, because what they do matters.
I believe the future is bright for a forward thinking alliance. Maturity and imagination are what is needed.
I feel a secondary post, with a more detailed plan, is needed. More soon.