Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Red Versus Blue - Thoughts

So yesterday I trotted out my high level killboard stats so that today's post would have context.

I put an alt, Korneilia, in Red versus Blue (Blue Fed best fed!)at the beginning of March for the purpose of trying it out and having something to do when low sec around Kirith is dried right up. I've had three ~30-60 minute sessions flying with my alt and her armada of Rifters.

In the same period that I got 9 killmails and 3 losses with Kirith over approximately 8-10 hours of game play, I've gotten in on 15 kills and 2 losses with Korneilia in about 1.5 hours. In other words, in the time it takes me to find and get in on one killmail I have a good chance of getting in on 10 in RvB.

Sounds awesome, right? There are downsides though. Let's list the good and bad to give a clearer picture.

Red Versus Blue - The Good

1) Perpetual war - no sec status hits, sentry guns, criminal countdowns. All that crap you have to concern yourself with in low sec is gone.

2) High Sec - so neutrals can be ignored, only the reds matter. No interference from third parties (except for war decs but then Red and Blue work together as Purple).

3) Consensual - no need to spend hours hunting targets because they are coming after you as well. This removes the biggest frustration of PvP in other areas.

4) Balanced - there are rules in place to try and ensure "good fights" and the FCs from each side communicate to balance the odds and ask their fleets to up-ship or down-ship to match the opponents.

5) Populated - with thousands of characters on each side, you can log in any time and find lots of people to fly with and usually lots of opponents to shoot at. Unlike low sec / null sec which can be vast swathes of empty for tens of jumps with a blob gate camp at the last one.

In other words, it eliminates a lot of random factors that can negatively impact your PvP experience. You log in and undock, you will get fights, often very balanced ones.

Red versus Blue - The Bad

1) Quality of Pilots - because RvB is populated by a lot of alts with low skills, new players with not much experience, and experienced players who just don't care, you will find that fleets can sometimes be undisciplined and pilots poor PvPers. I'm by no means an elite Pvper myself but lemming jumps and fits that make my eyebrows raise are common for example.

2) Quality of Kills - Since fleets are balanced and coordinated, you rarely get big kills that you come back to time and time again for that warm glow feeling. I have only one with Korneilia that makes me have that feeling (a Navy Caracal) but I have multiple just from last month with Kirith (solo hulk in Dram, using bait Drake to draw in Assault ships, Vindicator and Lokis). This is kind of related to...

3) No Surprises - You log in, undock, join a fleet or not, and then go out and kill or die to comparable enemy fleets. Sure, there are the events and random shenanigans (like last night when the enemy was vastly outnumbered by us, we turned our fleet into a Tech 1 frig free for all, I was last to die to the winner) but overall you won't be catching a hulk mining or hunting a Vindicator into a great fight.

4) No Strategy - I've touched on this already, but there is no grand strategic goal to your operations. While structure shoots are boring at least you are causing harm to your foes. Roams through space to deny enemy control. Which direction to approach and pounce on the enemy. To Titan bridge or not. Carriers on standby or stand down. All of these are removed from Red versus Blue. Which ties to...

5) No Goal - beyond padding killboard stats.

* * * * *

Now I freely admit that a lot of those bad points (or even all) are very subjective and some one else might point at those and say "great!" and revel in the stress free simple me-versus-them PvP that RvB provides. And it can be fun to get out and simply shoot things without the politics and frustrations that PvP in other parts of the game carry with them.

But if you are looking for the adrenaline rush that comes from the hunt and trap with the unknown facing you every moment, you won't find it in Red versus Blue.


  1. I'd say you pretty much hit the nail on the head. One of my biggest problems with RvB is that its hard to do anything outside of joining the blob. For a while I tried to get solo fights, but few pilots stray from stations (either BHQ or RHQ) unless its in a pretty large fleet. I think it really comes down to people willing to step up and FC some smaller gang fights. It'd be a tough culture change to make, but I'd love to see it happen.

  2. I enjoyed my time in RvB but the best parts for me were the purple fleets either roaming low/null or attacking third party wartargets. The problem with normal fleet blob fights was the moaning about fleet comp either before the fight started or, more commonly, afterwards.

    To be fair, the leadership do work hard to try and move people away from blobs and encourage more solo and smaller gang fights, but I think it is an uphill battle unfortunately.

  3. I've had a similar experience with RvB, here's my take on it:


    Lots of similar points with a few side notes.

    Also, since RvB just moved super close to Jita, I think they should suspend the normal Jita rules, organize a purple fleet to go die in glory when (if?) the hell camp comes to town. E-Uni too, just for grins. I imagine there should be a fair number of flashy reds to shoot if you can past the TiDI that is sure to come.

  4. I was in RvB for a bit. I killed like one ship and lost three.

    Even though you get that "instant" PvP action, I still find roaming null-sec much more satisfying. Sure, I sometimes kill nothing or get blobbed to death, but I like the feeling of the hunt. Eve PvP isn't even all that excting by itself. Yes, my adrenaline spikes every battle I'm in, but after spiraling in, overheating my mods and setting the orbit, there's not much to do but refresh D-Scan for the inevitable backup blob and watch the bars go down. vOv