Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Jester of All Trades, Part 2

This is the continuation of my response to Ripard Teg's response to my CSM platform. Got that straight? Let's get moving.

Ripard opens his condemnation of my proposals to nerf highsec income by offering the following justification:
There simply must be a viable high-sec income source for brand new players. In their first two years, new players need upwards of two billion ISK to buy skill-books and the expensive ships that they'll need to be viable on the modern PvP battlefield.
Everyone has seen the famous Goon propaganda poster depicting a brand-new Rifter pilot who helps defeat an enemy alliance by tackling a scout. (The poster remains relevant today. Makalu Zarya of the late Against All Authorities alliance was recorded on TeamSpeak angrily telling his fleet to primary a Rifter.) In reading Ripard's comment, I got an image of Ripard as the mirror universe equivalent of whoever it was who made that Goon poster. Ripard thinks my ideas are bad for new players. Not so. What's really bad for new players is telling them that they need to spend their first two years grinding in highsec before they can become useful in nullsec.
James solved this problem for himself by becoming a Goon [horrified bold and italics in the original, with a link to my employment history].
After some commenters informed Ripard that I made a fortune with my Currin Trading Ponzi scheme, he edited his post to note the fact. A number of corrections are in order. It wasn't my Ponzi scheme that enabled me to leave highsec or enter nullsec. From my first week in the game, I was in lowsec doing ninja mining and ninja ratting. I moved to nullsec when I joined Ascendant Frontier, not Goons. Next, I left ASCN to solo in nullsec in an NPC corp. I found that I was making a decent profit off of my PvP activity, so even if I weren't flush with cash from my scam, I was doing just fine. I joined Goonfleet after I had already spent a year in nullsec.

Granted, there's no particular reason to expect Ripard Teg to be aware of any of this. Nor does he need to know my biography when he's writing about the needs of new players in EVE. But it's characteristic of Ripard that he would delve haphazardly into a topic that he knows nothing about in order to make his argument.
Related to this, there remains and there will always be a contingent of EVE players that wish to play this game casually. They just want to log into the game when they get home from work or school, run missions or mine for a couple of hours, sell their take at market, and log off. There have been repeated attempts to demonize these players around the blogosphere and all of these attempts, including James's, are misguided in the extreme... But at the end of the day, EVE is a sandbox for everyone and that includes the "filthy casuals".
After excoriating me for my demonization of casual players, Ripard concludes his mini-sermon as follows:
Rather than demonizing the Other, James might try showing a little empathy and understanding what the Other wants out of the game. It's a good trait in a prospective CSM member.
Once again, Ripard gets it wrong in a number of ways. I have never attacked casual players or demonized them as "filthy casuals". For most of my EVE career, I have been a casual player myself, logging in for a bit when I get the chance. Non-casual play in EVE primarily consists of long hours of strategic ops (structure grinding/defending, mostly) or grinding lots of isk for hours on end. Whether ratting in lowsec, solo'ing in nullsec, or suicide ganking in highsec, I would describe my play as casual. There's no necessary connection between casual play and being orbited by Concord. If Ripard attempted to equate "casual" with "carebear", he was dead wrong.

My CSM platform is, by and large, geared toward improving the situation for casual players. Rather than grinding out isk over long periods in highsec, I'd like players to be able to make a decent living casually PvE'ing in lowsec and nullsec. I also believe we need to facilitate PvP other than structure grinding, by restoring the PvP foodchain and creating mid-level objectives (e.g. disrupting moongoo without taking sov).

As for the carebears, they're not all casual players. Some of them grind endless hours. Ripard advises me to exercise empathy, and to understand what others want out of the game. But that's exactly what led me to be so critical of the carebears. I understood what their vision for highsec really was. As history has shown, I was right about them.
Further, if the interview James did on Crossing Zebras is any guide, his motivation here seems to be "PvE sucks in null-sec and low-sec and players there are miserably unhappy with it. We should make the high-sec players just as miserable."
Another paragraph, another egregious error on Ripard's part. As explained in my CSM platform, I believe low/null PvE needs to be buffed considerably, because the risk is so high.
Not only is this not true -- from what I understand, low-sec players are pretty happy with their PvE options as they stand right now and those are about to get better -- it's an issue that should be solved in null-sec, not high-sec.
Wrong again. Lowsec players have always gotten a raw deal when it comes to PvE. Most famously, lowsec mining is only marginally more lucrative than highsec mining, despite stark differences in risk. That's why so many lowsec groups do their PvE in highsec, and why so many people never bother to make the jump from highsec to lowsec. As I've described on many occasions, it's not enough to simply buff low/null, because highsec is so safe. How much do you need to buff lowsec mining before it's preferable to AFK'ing in safe highsec belts? The solution is not merely buffing low/null, but also nerfing highsec.

Ripard spends some of the remainder of his post explaining areas where we agree. For example, he shares my view that sec status grinding is too time-consuming and that EVE could benefit from more entrypoints to low/null. Ripard also concedes that in some limited cases, it might not be a bad thing to increase risk in highsec (specifically, in incursions). When Ripard agrees with me, he's right. When he disagrees with me, strange things begin to happen. Here's his response to my suggestion that the "boomerang" gank tactic should be allowed again:
Mostly no. James wants this change because it allows a solo ganker to gank a mining barge in a belt, then pull CONCORD to the sun so they can gank another barge in the very same belt once their crim flag runs out. My opinion is that once a given belt is "farmed" for a gank, the ganker should be forced to move on to the next belt. This isn't much of a burden.
In reality, the "boomerang" tactic (famously mastered by Herr Wilkus) involved making multiple attacks per gank, using high-alpha strikes and warping to the next gank just before Concord arrived. Not everyone is familiar with the boomerang tactic; it's no great crime for Ripard to be ignorant of it. The problem is, as Herr Wilkus himself put it in a comment on Part 1, "It's quite interesting that Ripard's complete lack of knowledge regarding a suicide ganking tactic like the 'Boomerang' does not prevent him from commenting on and taking a strong position against it."

Apart from his carebear policy leanings, that's Ripard's great weakness. EVE is a complex game, and no one can be expected to have familiarity or expertise on all of its aspects. And there's nothing wrong with exploring topics or discussing ideas with which one is not very familiar. However, Ripard has a habit of assuming he is an expert on topics about which he knows little or nothing. This isn't the first time this has come up, either; I have seen many others criticize Ripard for the same thing, on a variety of different topics.

Back to the post, Ripard seems to think that the boomerang tactic was used to draw Concord out of the belt so it could be attacked again. Obviously this is wrong, and gankers use the undock trick to draw Concord out of belts. Because Ripard's knowledge on this subject is so hazy, it's difficult to know whether he understands that Concord can be drawn out of the belt via other means, or even that Concord squads generated by previous ganks respond by moving to the locations of subsequent ganks. He says that gankers should be forced to move on from a belt after it has been attacked. Does he know that the Concord from the first belt will move out of it when the next belt is attacked? Who knows?
Rather than bringing the boomerang back, I'd rather see the number of ice fields in high-sec both greatly decreased in size and increased in number... four or five much smaller ice fields per ice system instead of one big one... As it is today, I can understand the frustration of getting a gank on an ice field, then having to wait for CONCORD to disperse.
Reading things like this is a bewildering experience. Ripard advocates the proliferation of "smaller" ice fields, apparently based on a misunderstanding of how Concord operates. We're fully through the rabbit hole. Imagine Ripard Teg is elected to the CSM. Can you imagine Ripard going into lecture-mode like this with CCP on a topic that they know about, and which he clearly doesn't? (And people question whether I'll be able to work with CCP.) I'm sure there are plenty of areas of the game where Ripard knows his stuff, but when he acts like he's an expert on subjects where he's clueless, it undermines his credibility all around.

To further demonstrate his expertise on ganking, Ripard followed-up with a lengthy post describing the proper way for miners to avoid suicide ganks. Ripard declared that he has used cloaky alts to observe the New Order's tactics, and has come up with countermeasures. The mainstay of his defense program involves Scorpions. Fair enough, ECM is a classic anti-gank tool. But then he goes into specifics.
One of the biggest holes in the Order's attack pattern is that it takes them several seconds to set up a gank. While their warp-ins generally allow them to land within a few thousand meters of their targets, they have to close to between 1100 and 1800 meters to apply their tactics successfully, and they have to do it on standard propulsion. This gives you some response time.
Yes, "one of the biggest holes" in our attack pattern is a figment of Ripard's imagination. Most New Order gankers are at -10 security status, which means that our attack time is limited by faction police even before we open fire. Our gankers warp directly to their optimal range (hopefully). But it gets worse. Ripard suggests the use of energy neutralizers and medium combat drones. These are the kinds of tactics that we might chuckle at in a post about the resistance. Then this:
Remember that if a gank fleet can't kill you, they might decide to harass you with bumping. There are a few ways around this. One good way is to park your fleet in the midst of what you're mining. This works particularly well in dense ice fields. Ships that are nestled up to a solid object like a large ice cube are surprisingly resistant to bumping.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's the return of the "nestling" strategy. You might have thought Anslo and his "Proveldtariat" were dead and gone, but his ideas live on in Ripard Teg.

Several days ago, Ripard wrote an apology post. It seems he had previously written a lengthy discourse about how there was something wrong in the way EVE was calculating damage done by large guns to smaller targets. Ripard caught a lot of flak for the post, mainly because he was completely incorrect. In his apology, Ripard wrote this:
As I've mentioned a few times on this blog, I am a rare mutant that -- when I am wrong -- I admit that I'm wrong.
If Ripard is elected to the CSM, I get the feeling he's going to have ample opportunity to exercise his mutant ability. For the sake of the CSM and CCP alike, let's hope Ripard saves himself the trouble, and learns to distinguish more carefully between his areas of expertise and areas of ignorance.


  1. there's a reason why retard pig is an anagram of ripard teg.

  2. As someone who writes guides, I think Ripard is under pressure to defend his chops when it comes to knowledge about the game. It's what the readers come to his blog for. Unfortunately, this is interfering with his CSM campaign, where he would have been better off admitting he knows little about some areas of the game, like Mynna for example who admits about knowing little about the current state of missions.

  3. If there was a defense to ganking that merely required the gank target to be at their controls, wouldn't that simply make it easier for the New Order to identify targets ?

    Anyone who fails to survive a gank is clearly not paying enough attention.

  4. Replies
    1. What kind of silliness is this?

      Some kind of delusional stuff?

      Pray, tell us more.

  5. It's interesting that Ripard Teg is having trouble figuring out damage and hit rates on large guns vs. smaller targets when I got a handle on it after 2 weeks of playing a new Amarr character.

    More experienced turreters (I used to play caldari) can correct me, but what I've figured out for my lasers is this: if my tracking speed exceeds my target's angular velocity, I can land decent hits on the target (assuming of course that I'm at a decent range.) If the target's sig radius is smaller than my sig resolution, such as if I'm using a medium turret (125 sig resolution) against a frigate (40 sig radius) then my turret's effective tracking speed is reduced by the same factor (to roughly a third.) So if I have a heavy pulse laser with tracking speed 0.1, and my target is a frigate, my chance to score a hit goes down the drain once the frigate's angular velocity exceeds 0.3 or so.

    That's what I've figured out so far, anyway. It's odd how so many EVE players I talk to have very, very funny ideas about how turret hit chances work. People would tell me all the time that if I couldn't hit a close-orbiting target, that target was obviously "under the guns" and I just had to switch to a shorter-range frequency crystal, and other such nonsense.

    1. correction: "once the frigate's angular velocity exceeds 0.03 or so."

  6. New order is illegitimate because they discriminate against non English speakers.

    1. Is that you Mine Teck?

    2. The New Order employs a talented corps of translators that can assist in translating your messages into English. If, however, your ideas themselves are incoherent there is nothing these translators can do to help you.

    3. Bad Ideas are Bad Ideas, no matter what language they're expressed in.

  7. Ripard old buddy, you've jumped the shark with me. Your habit of publishing your ignorance for all to see is breathtaking. You know we're on you and you still posted that crap about ganking? WTF man? Are you to proud to ask? We're happy to tell you and whoever else is at keyboard in local everything you need to know ffs. We're not an elitest like you proved to be when you posted the KMs on the eve-o forums. We encourage participation and interaction!

    As a community it would be irresponsible of us to put you in a position where you'll make an ass out of yourself and the player base with some rediculous remark when meeting with CCP.

    I withdraw my support.

    1. "ridiculous"

      just fyi

    2. good lookin' out

      +1 whoever the hell you are :)

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. I love when people start picking at my typos during an internet debate. It always comes when they're about to lose, and are running out of things to say. When they attack my grammar it's like they're spluttering out in a frothing rage: "But... but... but... BUT YOUR HAIR'S DONE WRONG SO I WIN ANYWAY!"

    5. You know you've won when they go for the "cheap shot".

  8. This was a vacuous reply to a post that didn't really need addressing - many others have already done it for you. Everybody is awaiting a reply to the "Garth" post Go on James...

    1. Subtract the insults, and the garth post is really more favorable to the new order side than to the miner side. Seems like Garth hates miners more than anything. Therefore, that post doesn't really need to be replied to, and your statement that "Everybody is awaiting a reply" to it is false.

    2. I'd never been to that blog before now. From the looks of things, the "Garth" nonsense is some kind of devils-advocate alternate persona of Ripard, that purports to be an evil carebear-hating villain of some kind. As a way to connect with readers, it's vaguely clever: "Garth" gives readers a ridiculous strawman griefer/pirate for the carebears to feign terror at while they jerk each other off.

      The gist of the linked post is "James 315 wants PvE'ers to go to lowsec where the highsec gankers can't be mean to them" and tries to convince the readers to not support James 315 based on this. It also gets into some rather laughable anti-gank strategies, but the post is barely readable anyway.

  9. Boomerang was overpowered in the sense that it was equal to removing Concord. You gank in the first belt, warp to second, gank there, warp to third, gank there, warp to a gate, gank there, repeat until downtime.

    Energy neutralizers ARE good to stop ganks, I had some vultures effectively using it.

    But you are right on the main point: Ripard is defending the boring grind and claims that a newbie MUST do it, while there are clearly better options.

    1. Where does Ripard Teg say newbs MUST grind?

    2. If a highsec income source is both large, accessible even to newbs, and ungrindy, then it will become not large, due to everyone doing it and supply/demand existing. Even if it were straight ISK generation in the form of new bounties or new bluebooks, that would just cause hyperinflation until the income was not comparatively large anymore. Therefore, if Ripard says a large income source must exist in highsec for newbs to be able to generate billions of ISK to become PVP ready(which he said in a quote above), then Ripard is saying a grindy income source MUST exist in highsec. But, if it were true that there weren't some newbs who MUST grind in highsec using that grindy income source, then that would contradict Ripard saying that grindy income source MUST exist for the sake of newbs. Therefore, Ripard is claiming, via strict logical deduction of logically equivalent statements, that SOME newbs MUST grind in highsec. I don't believe that it is correct to state that Ripard is claiming that ALL newbs MUST grind, however, at least based on the quotes I've seen from him so far.

    3. So Gevlon was talking shit. Right. Gotchya.

    4. No, Gevlon used an ambiguous formulation which could be interpreted to mean either possibility. Seeing as how English isn't his first language, using foul language to describe this fact instead of trying to determine which he actually meant paints you in a very bad light, not him.

    5. So saying the word "shit" invalidates any response. Right, makes perfect sense...

    6. "So saying the word "shit" invalidates any response."


    7. Ah I see. You chose to put most of your effort into that one word because you don't really have a point to make. OK, defo gotchya now. Loud and clear.

    8. Aehm, Anon, you're the only one here posting insults instead of a point.

    9. A lot of little space entitlement hobos are offended by Gevlon's individualist posts.

      So they spend an enormous amount of time nitpicking anything he says, and then flinging poo anywhere he says something. He has an amazing amount of free space in their skulls, for a less than a year old EvE Online player.

      His "dislike" rating in Reddit is almost legendary ... I think only a few neo-nazis have beaten it. The reddit-ors got so incensed at his non-hivemind posts, that they threatened an in-game sitdown strike if TEST didn't boot him and stop taking his multi-billion monthly ISK contribution.

    10. "Ah I see. You chose to put most of your effort into that one word because you don't really have a point to make. OK, defo gotchya now. Loud and clear."

      Correct, I don't have any more points to make, because I've already made my point and won the argument--by default, since you haven't bothered to make any valid replies. I'm glad we're clear on this point and can close the topic in full accord.

    11. Audrik, you haven't won anything as your initial reply is pure BS. Especially the "If grind stuff must exist for noobs, noobs MUST grind". Such a laughable piece of utter shit.

      Ooh look, some trees. As those trees exist, a woodsman must chop them down, he has absolutely no choice!

      Yeah, you've certainly won something Audrik, but this argument isn't it, regardless of how much self congratulatory rubbish you post. Still, probably makes you feel good eh!

      My question to Gevlon:
      "Where does Ripard Teg say newbs MUST grind?"

      Correct answer that you failed to come up with:
      "He has never said that."

      Gevlon was talking shit. This is a truth, not an insult.

      I accept your ungracious defeat Audrik. Maybe you should too.

    12. "Especially the "If grind stuff must exist for noobs, noobs MUST grind". Such a laughable piece of utter shit."

      Those are your words, not mine, as that's a false quotation; so I agree completely--they are "utter shit". Anyone can verify that your fabricated quote above is a vicious and intentional lie, which ends this discussion.

    13. It's good that you accept defeat Audrik, even if it's in such a disingenuous way.

  10. Oh my dear lord, is this guy serious?!?!? This isn't a comp I essay here man, we both care, and can tell when you are bullshitting. Jesus, how embarrassing would it be if we had to read this kind of nonsense in the CSM minutes?

    Also, I resent any comparison between this fool and the noble swine.

    315 4 CSM8

    -Galaxy Pig

  11. Show us on this doll where the New order touched you.

  12. Confirming that someone unwilling to put their name behind their opinion doesnt deserve the validity of said opinion.

  13. Rennseslear has made an excellent point, and one that I must reiterate.

    If a comment isn't assigned a fictitious name, the point made in that comment cannot be valid. This is particularly true when done on the internet. See, when you make any point, regardless of how retarded it is, it is always going to be valid providing you make up a name that you include with your comment. Easy eh!

    You really are onto something with this Rennseslear. We can now all just ignore any comments that don't have fictitious names. Well, not ignore them exactly, but completely ignore anything they say and just reply with "not valid: no name", and because we write in our character names (or some other one) we can claim to have "won" the argument even though we haven't actually contributed anything of worth or relevance.

    Rennseslear, you are most definitely the man! (or woman, as you know, we're on the anonymous internet).

  14. Rennseslear is using his in game name, and can be held responsible for his statements in game.

    Which is more than enough lack on anonymity in a blog about a particular MMORPG.

  15. Confirming that Agent Williams is not an agent, is unable to distinguish between necessary and sufficient conditions, and is unable to distinguish between reputation-based observational testimony and reputation-irrelevant logical argument.


    "If a comment isn't assigned a fictitious name, the point made in that comment cannot be valid."

    Logical structure; If not A, then not B. (inverse)

    "See, when you make any point, regardless of how retarded it is, it is always going to be valid providing you make up a name that you include with your comment. Easy eh!"

    Logical structure; If A, then B. (conditional)

    Since the conditional and inverse statements are not logically equivalent, deriving the latter statement from the former is a false syllogism.

    second e.g.: the above argument is logically sound, as is true no matter what name I attach to my post. A statement I make about someone's Ego is opinion and/or observation, not fact or logic, and therefore is given variable credence depending on my reputation, which I must admit is quite high as a former president of the United States.


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