Kafkaesque Gameplay in Fozziesov

This far into Fozziesov I find myself grappling with concepts that are difficult to describe because the tactics turn into a complicated game of counters, counter-counters, and so on. We are a little deeper in our trudge into the long haul that is EVE with Fozziesov. Reddit is just now coming to terms with the idea that those of us who initially saw problems may have had ground to stand on. PL’s Fozziesov strategies remain immature, but they are starting to take solid shape. I began describing the state of the meta as I saw it in an earlier article. A point I tried to make is that Fozziesov may turn out fine if the winning strategies turn out to be fun. Right now the chances of that are looking poor.
“For PL the most efficient crew seems to be my alt in a triage carrier with a cyno.”
I have come to the conclusion that grind fleets should be as manpower efficient as possible. Mostly nothing happens when one side has an advantage in firepower. For PL the most efficient crew seems to be my alt in a triage carrier with a cyno. On meeting opposition, support can be called up in the form of black ops, slowcats, or a more complicated doctrine. Most of the alliance members play DOTA or something, and hopefully show up for the ping when I need help. I tried using various tanky subcapitals, but nothing was durable enough. The passive recharge drake did best but still did not last when hostiles got serious. As I have the alt out grinding for hours, I’ve been playing Diablo III, Civilization V, and a sweet little game called Crypt of the Necrodancer. That last one has been entertaining. Its music themed, requiring rhythm and I find myself tapping my foot, counting “One. Two. Three. Four.” PL invaded Delve a few weeks ago and I started attacking Pizza’s sov right away. Yes, as systems became unclaimed I did not put up TCUs or IHUBs. That denied Pizza the opportunity to retaliate and troll us. A few weeks later when NC. showed up they seemed to be happier playing defense for TCUs. Still, the Pizza attitude came about because of a dude alt tabbed playing a game one step removed from Dance Dance Revolution. In Dominion I might have been providing content for thirty or a hundred people. With no opposition I could have quickly swept the enemy structures away and moved on to another project. Instead it was me, my alt, and the dancing skeleton zombies from Crypt of the Necrodancer for hours. My reward for the effort is this EVE mail. Also I feel pretty confident about taking some music lessons. I just have to pick an instrument.
“…holding space is primarily a matter of ego.”
Why is this designed so that breaking enemy morale is the optimal path to victory? Why am I strategizing how to minimize my alliance’s exposure to this? Even big entities face morale problems. Kafkasov is a term that comes from an article published on TheMittani.com and it seems to capture the frustration the system generates in a wonderfully descriptive way. Technically speaking the big guys could abandon most of their space and let it lie fallow. Nobody needs more than a handful of ratting systems. That fails to acknowledge the fact that holding space is primarily a matter of ego. People take pride in having their name on the map. I am borrowing the term to call Fozziesov Kafkaesque because it turns that pride into a form of self harm. It turns what could have been vibrant fights into exercises of blueballing and minimization. It turns even simple walkovers into ponderously slow soul destroying experiences. Games should be fun. Even losers should be able to find some joy in the experience. They should believe that playing and losing is a better option than not playing at all. They should be invigorated to try again. Losers should find themselves thoughtfully wondering what they can do better next time. A game system where the loser is the first guy who gives up in disgust is a stark failure. I am nearly without words. Game designers should not declare a war of attrition against their own player-base. They will win. But how is that different than losing?
Tags: Aegis sov, Fozziesov, Mukk, nullsec, sovereignty

About the author

Mukk Barovian

Mukk is a long time skirmish FC with a penchant for overpropping his ships.

  • AFK

    It’s not the mechanics that are the problem, it’s the concept of sov itself. It’s a lemon and always has been. This is the third system in and apparently nerds are still no nearer to figuring this one out. There’s a reason that this open world territory capture concept hasn’t been repeated in any other game.

    • Cpt Patrick Archer

      The fact that you can’t do it anywhere is what makes it so great!
      Imo Dominion after the Phoebe changes could use some work, but wasn’t bad at all.
      This retarded mechanic that forces everyone to give up on sov warfare is what is killing nullsec, and thereby Eve.

      • Raven

        The game does not thrive off nullsec. Does even %10 of the player base live in null? The player count was going down before the release of Aegis sov.

    • Dmitry

      Why CCP even bothers with Sov mechancs? This is a sandbox.

      Let users put POSes in the system and then let them also decide what counts as “owning” system. As it used to be long ago. This is a sandbox. There must be multiple tools and meanings to “own” the system and let entities decide themselves.

      Entosis games are so themeparky and looks totally off the concept of player built universe (kinda like a cady for kid who wants to deal with big guys: “here is the frigate and the magic wand, go kick that big boy butt”).

      Edit: formatting.

      • Messiah Complex

        There was some limited discussion of a “no sov” system early in the public dialogue on the sov revamp. It never got much traction. In mid-July, Fozzie mentioned on an EN24 podcast that CCP had considered a “no sov” or a “post-sov” solution, but ultimately decided that EVE wasn’t ready for it. (http://evenews24.com/2015/07/15/en24-podcast-ccp-fozzie-on-sovereignty-part-i/ … skip to around 15:30).

        FWIW: I agree with what you said. Especially considering the new structures in the works, there was a real opportunity to dramatically change 0.0 not just on a mechanical level, but on a social level as well. I’m mostly inclined to defer to the people that actually live in sov null about these matters, but I do think the thought leaders that advocated for occupancy-based sov were so entrenched in inertia of Dominion that they ended up rejecting the notion of a post-sov EVE out of hand.

        And now we have Fozzie Sov.

        • X Gallentius

          Fozzie Sov IS post-sov. Planting your flag is a secondary feature of 0.0. What really matters now is that you control what is important in your space, not the space itself.

          These 0.0 nerds are still thinking the primary goal of 0.0 is “capture the flag” but it’s not.

    • Saint Michael’s Soul

      It has been done in other games. Ultima Online and the new (about to go into second alpha) Albion Online are good examples.

  • Well worded. Something I have yet to see is people voice an opinion on the larger scale conflict strategies. Example: you have your carrier, I drop a drop, you call your friends, I bring subs. Great, so far so good right? Im committed, you’re committed, its going down…now what are you going to do about that 10 man fast attack group we sent around your back side out of jump range? By the time the ‘fight’ is over we have our real target completed. This type of play is what I am waiting to see alliances pick up on.

    I may have to check out Crypt of the Necrodancer, thanks for the recommendation.

  • Ben Ishikela

    so we learned that the trollceptor is not a problem. Therefor i suggest that we can safely remove the 5 minute preactivation cycle. But also the contestancy effort has to stick to the next vulnerability if its not 100%.
    Then some entity can entosis a little, come back the next day, disrupt the repairs until then and continue his work. This might be rewarding because progress can be seen.
    The percentage needs to stick or the precycle needs to go away. Why not?

  • 5pitf1re

    This is a high quality post!

  • I’m not hearing how this complaint is new with FozzieSov. It used to be I read articles about how taking sov was a painful grind that required lots of people in extremely expensive ships, and took so long to do that people used online tools that let everyone watched a streamed movie in sync. There were no fights because everyone feared the cyno escalation.

    Now you’re complaining that one guy in a carrier (with the massive Entosis time penalty for being in a cap) takes an hour while you play a videogame on the side. You use a carrier so to discourage getting a fight, and so there are no fights because everyone fears the cyno escalation.

    Hmm, maybe the sov system isn’t the problem…

    • Ranamar

      Yeah, it’s surreal to me that it is somehow something new that the way to win a sovwar is to break the other side’s morale.

      It’s possible that, since bringing a huge hammer is no longer required purely because of the grind that encouraging people not to bring something you’d need a huge hammer for made it a little more efficient… but it’s not like people weren’t already saying it was best practice.

  • Saint Michael’s Soul

    What’s your motivation for taking/destroying this sov? It sounds like your only aim is to stir up fleet battles and troll – There’s literally no point in fighting you as a sov holding entity; You don’t have any assets to hit, you’ll disappear (or escalate wildly) if you do face an even fight and you’ve (PL) moved beyond the concept of having to live somewhere.

    You’d make the game more healthy if you just stuck to playing your dance game & it sounds like you’d probably have more fun 😀

  • X Gallentius

    Not all systems matter as much as other systems. Put your carrier in a station system where the other side is based and then see what happens.

    I think the 0.0 nerds need to learn that the new sov system values some systems over others. Stations with systems > empty systems, for example.