Thursday, May 7, 2015

Why Do Players Enjoy Massive Fleet Fights?

I am an equal-opportunity player, in that I can recognize the value or enjoyment in every play style. I understand the fearless solo PVPer--they find enjoyment in fighting against the odds, playing EVE on "hard mode." I understand the tournament player. They refine small gang tournament skills to fly in an extremely competitive PVP environment. I understand the mission runner and even the miner--they find PVE activities relaxing and work toward goals of improving their isk per hour. I understand the CODE. players and other gankers, who wreck havoc on high security space inhabitants. Etc.

However, there is one play style in EVE I do not understand. I do not understand how players can enjoy flying in large fleets. I am referring to fleets where players must simply press "F1" to sufficiently play their role, hence the derogatory term "F1-monkey."  I suppose I can understand flying as tackle or logistics or Fleet Commander in these fleets, given that these roles, when done correctly, take significant experience and skill to perform well. However, the average "line member" seems to play a role that requires little skill besides (as a Brave advertisement eloquently puts it) a pulse. I do understand why new players fly in large fleets--such as massive Brave fleets. However, I do not understand how veterans of the game, in coalitions like the (former) CFC, can enjoy being line members in large fleets. If you've played EVE for more than a year, yet continue to participate in large fleet fights, I would like to know what value or enjoyment you find in this activity. I legitimately want to know, because it is the one activity in EVE I find completely boring and valueless.

As a solo player, I am sometimes killed by such large fleets. I often wonder what value they get out of being 1 among dozens on a kill. Is it fun? If they purely want killmails, why don't they just join a high security space war-dec group or RVB?  If kill mails and killboard were removed from EVE, would we still see the average line member logging in?

CCP's move toward making null security space sov warfare spread over multiple systems is a step toward de-emphasizing the 1000 player versus 1000 player fights and a step toward emphasizing skill-based game play, where coordination and tactical thinking win fights, not n+1 pilots pressing a single button while they play league on another monitor. This is partly due to the fact that large fights severely tax CCP's servers. It is also due to the fact, though, that such game play will not take EVE into a third decade, because after 10+ years now it has proven too boring to sustain a growing number of subscriptions.


  1. I do exactly this - mostly playing on an alt, playing a differnt game or watching a film on a second screen. I don't enjoy the gameply but I love the anger it arouses as a huge blob destroys everyhitn the people who think they are better than me have built. Ilike that they refuse to engage becasue they are outnumbered whilst spouting hypocracy about nummbers - knowing full well if they found a smaller fleet they would massacre it an slap themselves on the back. Simply put it pisses off hostiles and makes them whine - it's the big picture and if I have to do boring shit to earn those tears I am fine with it.

  2. Some people enjoy taking part in large group activities simply for the excitement of being there and being part of something. Its the same impulse as going to Times Square for new year's eve or marching in a parade, you don't do much but you were there.

  3. I guess I can understand both of those sentiments--viewing fleet PVP more like a large social event than something you substantially contribute to. That would also explain why some players develop strong institutional affiliations in game, where even the idea of, say, joining the goons is out of the question.

  4. I'm an old-school cardboard chit wargamer. So the large fleet fights appeal to me because it's the EVE equivalent of the old wargames I used to play where I ran my empire and my opponent ran his and we'd go at it, moving massive armies back and forth. Plus, when I was living in sov null, those fleet fights were more about defending hearth ad home, or making the other guy defend his.

    Take the reasons away and EvE PVP is, well, not fun for me. And not just the fleet fights. All of it.

  5. 1st: Yes, it's a buzz. The...feeling of being there, of being "where thing are happening". The feeling of rolling out. Like anything, for those who enjoy such things, that wil be the sort of thing they enjoy.

    2nd: yes there is more than just pressing F1. Obvious example is dual boxing, often you will be called upon to dual box a dread, a scout, cyno, and so on. So obviously that will require mental attention. Secondly, even if you are a one player on one account in a subcap DPS line ship, you will have things to manage. Watch for yellowboxing, broadcast on time, what NOT to braodcast for, what drugs to take and when to take them, how well are you tracking, switching ammo for range, switching ammo for damage type, have you broken anchor, when to overheat, what to overheat, what and when to nanite paste repair, if and when to warp off ( and if and when to come back), if and when to stay on field and be repped, not letting traversal drop at critical moments, what damage type is incoming, what tank to refit from the triage, what ewar is applied to you, what the FC needs informed of (and what to keep your mouth shut about!), checking and taking squad and wing positions when others die, checking are there ecm drones and what to do about them, watching overview for incoming bombs, overheating for damage bombs, spamming hardeners for void bombs, watching overview for nearby tackle and dictors to put drones on. I mean, you could just be simple and follow FC orders, but here's the question - if it's all so simple and boring how comes people STILL cannot do simple things like..."align when told". Or "not broadcast for bombs". Every single fleet ever has people fucking this up these incredibly simple commands, evidently, it can't be that easy.