Friday, July 17, 2015

Fun Per Hour

Brave Newbies is leaving null sec for a vacation in low sec to reorganize and gather themselves after a rough season. The topic is not about Brave per se, but more about fun in the various types of space.

First off, I'm defining fun purely from a combat PvP perspective as that is the most common type of fun people are looking for in EVE.

I've written about Brave and how null sec is fun until its not. If you are looking for raw fun per hour for your organization, null sec is not it. Null sec is about Empire Building and clash of cultures wars, and as such can have vast amounts of quiet time and build up followed by frantic explosive battles. Overall, fun per hour is low but the highs are higher and bigger and the satisfaction derived from control of systems / structures / empires is larger and deeper.

Wormhole space also runs low on the fun per hour ratio. Its more about stealthy-stealthy-ninja-surprise! fun which has many fans and definitely makes wormholes interesting for many people. But the hardships of logistics, living out of POSes, scanning down connections, looking for fights cuts into the sheer amount of fun that can be derived per hour of game time.

High sec is a virtual desert for any PvP outside of arranged wars like Red versus Blue, or groups that like constant suicide ganking. For a large group looking for fun dynamic PvP, high sec will not work out.

And then we come to low sec. I've written before that low sec is the best place for consistent and destructive PvP and I suspect the whole "Fun per Hour" concept that is susposed to be part of Brave's DNA comes from having gestated in low sec in the first place. Quite simply, low sec is the best area of the game to maximize fun per hour, and to highlight that I want to present this excellent article from Crossing Zebras portal called The Battle of Kehjari:
A handful of times each year, Factional Warfare erupts from restless simmer into a protracted bloodbath. Days on end of relentless slaughter leave space littered with wrecks in the thousands. These kinds of multi-day battles are unique to FW and are always an amazing thing to be a part of.
Such was the recent battle for Kehjari, a well known north-western system in the infamous Black Rise region. Unfortunately for me I was on a much needed vacation at the time. Fortunately for all of us, Epikurus (Mjolnir Bloc CEO) and Veratrix (Spaceship Bebop FC) saw fit to join forces and write the amazing report you see below. Get a hot cup of tea and sit comfortably, this tale spans four days of bloodshed. – Niden
I'm not going to quote the whole thing, but let me quote parts of it (emphasis mine):

Critically, experienced HECON and Templis FCs were able to start effective defensive operations and to begin trying to slow the assault down. For four hours, from 1600 to 2000, the CalMil Coalition forces under allied command prevented any further gains. However, as Gallente numbers increased again in EU prime, the contested level started rising again. EU prime saw 3-4 hours of heavy fighting with GalMil being overwhelmingly victorious, and their numerical advantage only increased during the transition to US prime.
By 0500 eve time on Saturday morning, the situation looked very bleak indeed for the Caldari defenders. The initial Gallente assault had pushed Kehjari up to 75% in its first 24 hours, sweeping aside most resistance. However, GalMil was now moving into a timezone during which the Caldari Militia has recently dominated. Whilst GalMil had complete AU dominance during their sweep of the warzone last year, the return of The Church of Awesome, a highly experienced and dedicated AU corp, in the early months of 2015 had changed the equation dramatically. This allowed the Caldari Militia Coalition to maintain 20-man fleets on the field throughout the period up to and immediately following downtime. Gallente planners took this imbalance into account and hoped additional pilots would stay up late and get on early to try to keep things even in this timezone. The tactic paid off on Saturday morning. Gallente fleets held the contested level steady for most of the AUTZ though CalMil forces were able to pull back 10% in one sustained burst.
In the face of ferocious fighting, the Gallente managed to make slow but steady gains over the next 10 hours, hanging another 12% on the system by midnight, averaging an advantage of one-and-a-half plexes per hour. Exploiting their generally higher skill point levels, GalMil deployed its Zealot/Guardian fleet to dominate the medium and the large plexes, constraining Caldari efforts to the smaller plex sizes. In response to this, Caldari State Naval Operations [CSNO], the primary EU corp in HECON, redeployed their stocks of Guardians and faction cruisers across the warzone to Kehjari, generously handing them out for free to defending pilots. After some skirmishing, though, the Caldari fleet was defeated in one of the more notable pitched battles of the weekend.
This fight was symptomatic of a new ‘environmental factor’ in Kehjari. The large numbers of kills started to draw in third parties from across the map. Most notable among these were the enthusiastic local posters of Pandemic Horde [THXFC]. The Horde brought fleets of 30-40 pilots on a regular basis during EU and US timezones throughout the rest of the battle, causing problems for both sides. They generally avoided pitched fights with the Caldari and Gallente fleets, opting to camp the station and plex gates as well as gunning for solo and small gang plexers who were detached from the main militia fleets. On those occasions that they did engage directly, the Horde tended to be comprehensively defeated by the hardened militia pilots, but their ongoing harassment remained a significant irritant throughout the rest of the weekend.
Affecting the concerns about the supply situation was the fact that the fighting in Kehjari only got more intense as the day wore on, reaching a peak of violence with a gruelling non-stop fight that began at 1834 between two 30-man fleets with large logistics wings rolled on until 1848. After 14 minutes of intense and constant destroyer and frigate PvP, the remaining fleets had become kitchen sinks of whatever the pilots could find nearby and 98 wrecks sat gathered around the button in the plex. The ship losses were 60/40 in favour of the Gallente, but the tide had turned at the end with GalMil out of instantly available reshipsl. When it was clear that the fight was unwinnable, they warped out, conceding the plex to the Caldari.
Read the whole article, sure parts of it can be dry but its an excellent read about an intense battle for a single system in low sec. Sure, these battles don't happen very often but smaller versions of these battles for control of a system here and there are common enough and the entire area is constantly inundated of small to largish groups roaming and looking for fights, militas, pirates, and visitors.

If you are looking to maximize fun per hour, if its part of your corporate DNA, then you should strongly think about whether or not you want to live in null sec.

By the way, if you want a preview of what CCP wants from Fozzie Sov, read that article and imagine it writ large across null sec in multiple battles at any one time. Let's hope it works.

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