Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Remaining Independent

John Rourke: So this going back to signing up for a corporation then, is it?  Some faceless bunch of idiots who spend their whole time bickering before screwing you over for every isk you’ve got?  And when they say jump, you have to jump, because they own your ass!

Charlie Fodder: At the moment, John, when you say jump, we have to jump or it *is* our ass!  In a corp you get a paycheck, some security and stability, and a whole corporate fleet behind you if the going gets tough.  Big difference.  And for all the freedom you talk about in this crew, it’s gotten us chained to dangerous operations that we can’t refuse because we never have any damn money.

- Clear Skies, Act 2, Scene 1

I've quoted the above dialog from the award-winning machinima series Clear Skies before but I can't help it.  The scene between Captain Rourke and his gunnery chief illustrate a conflict I have within myself on whether to stay in my own small corporation or have Rosewalker leave and find bigger and hopefully better things.  Even though I enjoyed flying in fleets when I was in Eve University I'm still leery of joining another corp.  Here are my top reasons for remaining in my small independent corporation.
5.  Buying PLEX:  So far I have avoided buying any PLEX in Eve Online.  I'd like to keep it that way.  I've heard a lot of stories about players buying PLEX in order to fund their PvP habit.  If I have to pay real money to purchase ships, then I'm playing the game wrong.  At least the way I want to play.  I don't want to be pressured by corp leadership into doing that.

4.  My corp:  Yes, I know my corp is just me, myself and I.  But I've developed some stories surrounding my corp that I've written about on the blog.  My corp just feels like home now.  And with the coming of DUST 514, I know a couple of people who might play.  They might want to step into Eve and make some extra money for their characters.  If I have both my main characters in the corp I can really help them out.

3.  The skill queue:  The one thing I really want to do is be able to fly every Minmatar sub-capital ship and fly it well.  I don't want to join a corporation and then be told I have to abandon my training plan.  Sure, I can fly a Drake, and fly it well, with less than 3 days of training.  The fact is that I want to be able to fly a Panther and learn all the leadership skills to fly command ships and don't want to be sidetracked. 

2.  Botting:  I've heard stories about corporations and alliances, especially renters, telling their members they have to bot.  Anyone who has read the blog knows how I feel about bots.  What happens if I join a corp, move to null sec, and then am asked to bot?  That would get ugly and probably result in me losing most of my possessions.  Do I want to take the chance?  No way!

1.  Limited playtime:  Eve Online is the first MMO I have spent any significant time in where I have played solo.  In World of Warcraft I was in a guild from level 17 to level 60, which was the level cap in Vanilla WoW.  In EverQuest 2 I think I only spent 2 months of my 3 1/2 years playing the game not in a guild.  I started off that way in Eve, joining Eve University and staying there for 5 months before eventually going solo.

So why go solo after being in a guild or corp for so long?  The limited playtime I now have.  A lot of times during the week I'm lucky to have enough time to tend to my planetary interaction colonies and tend to housekeeping tasks in-game.  In addition over the past couple of years I've taken business trips to Europe and I anticipate at least one more this year.  Does a corp really want someone that might disappear for a couple of weeks because of real life?  More importantly, I'm not sure how I'd feel about just dropping in for a few minutes a day most days.  That wasn't how I was in WoW or EQ2 and depending on what was happening to the corp I might feel guilty about not being there when things get rough.

Now, I'm not stating I will never join another corporation in Eve.  If the right one caught my eye I'd probably jump at the chance.  And perhaps once fall arrives and I've completed my current skill queue I'll actually start looking around.  But for now I'm having fun playing just the way I am.


  1. Yeah, most of you points are reasonable to some extent.
    #5 will vary a lot by corp. I have yet to encounter a corp where I needed to plex for ships, nor have I seen it suggested, but it does happen. More often corps will have a ship replacement program to subsidise you as they want to encourage people to get in fleet.

    Similarly I have not encountered #2 either. Given CCP's current offensive many corps/alliances I know of have gone from a stance of ignoring or tacitly approving botting to deprecating it.

    #1 is a problem for a lot of us. You will probably find plenty of corps that are realistic enough about playtime and RL commitments to work for you though.

    Bottom line is you have to shop around a bit and accept that you may not really know for a few weeks/months if a corp is a good fit for you. But that does not mean you shouldn't go looking, just be prepared to make a few attempts.

    As attractive as starting or growing a corp with a few friends sounds, unless you all invest a lot of time and effort it will likely be a waste. You need a certain critical mass before a corp becomes worthwhile. A few people with limited playtime is just not enough. It is usually better, especially if you have limited time, to join something bigger and let others do the hard work ;-)

  2. Corporations are on a big, wide spectrum, from very casual to downright militant.

    If anyone told me about having to train up certain ships, or only plex to feed PVP, I'd be out the door before they finished wiping their chins.

    I can guarantee that there is a corp that will fit your style. Or fit a change in your style to fit a casual player. There is always more fun in groups, but only when the intent is to have fun.

    Yes, the more militant corps and alliances are run along more rigid lines, but for some folks, that's more fun. For independent (CS2 tie in for you) folks that occasionally gang up for fighting, I'd suggest some of the FW corps.

    There is a fit out there for you - just remember you are interviewing the corps for compatibility. If they rub you the wrong way (admission criteria, account info, unreasonable API scrutiny) walk away.

  3. #2 interests me. I haven't heard of a corp out there that says "you have to bot." I've heard everything from "don't do it" to "don't get caught" but "you have to"? That one I haven't heard.

    Can you provide an example?

    1. Ever heard of Goonswarm? Everyone in there is a bot drone.

    2. I don't have an example, and to be honest, I doubt it would be a full time requirement if it did happen. I would guess it would happen if the corp or alliance had a money crunch. Like if a renter alliance saw its rents jacked up, which I heard happen to some Russian renters last year. I know that some corp/alliance leaders go to the hbot forums looking for renters. Since I wear a tin foil hat a lot, my attitude is: where there is smoke there is fire.

      As I was thinking about this, I came up with a rule. If the corp/alliance has information posted about botting on a wiki or forum, run!

  4. Noizy, reason #1 is my main reason for playing solo. My wife's health isn't what I wish it was so I have very little time to play the game. I love Eve it gives me a break from RL and when I'm a member of a corp I feel obligated to participate as often as I can. But when I'm in my own corp I can log in and out as required. Perhaps someday I'll be able to return to the social aspect of the game but my now I need to be solo so I can give priorty to my #1 love - my wife.

  5. I haven't heard of corporations requiring botting. That would be a new one for me. The Alliance I am currently in explicitly forbids botting. The Alliance CEO is VERY firm on that part.

    As far as requiring people to buy PLEX, I personally purchase PLEX due to my distaste for most of the PVE content in EVE. I haven't heard of corporations that say that you need to purchase PLEX to keep up. Most 0.0 corps actually have a ship replacement program of some sort or another.

    The corps I have been a part of also do understand about real life. I've gone away for a month at a time before. As long as they are aware what is going on, most people are more than happy to let you go away when you need to.

  6. Point 2 Botting:
    I have been in a few corps (both highsec/lowsec and null.
    Never have I heard botting is a requirement. Normally it is firmly discouraged.
    The guy talking about Goonswarm being full of botters likely has no cluse and just hates them for whatever reason. Goonswarm has a very good ship replacement system, which means goons dont need to use their own money for pvp. Why would they even need to bot?
    I think the botting point is pretty unrealistic. If you are asked to bot, I would say you joined by far the wrong corp.

    Point 5 buying plex:
    Pretty much the same thing.
    I have never bought a plex in my entire career. I spent two years in nullsec.
    A good alliance will have a ship replacement system for alliance ops, so you can pvp for very low cost. That coupled with access to nullsec (much better income) means there should be no reason to buy plex.

    Point 4 my corp:
    That is really your own preferences. I personally would get bored of my own company after a while.

    The other two pooints have more weight I think, and need more discussion:

    Point 1 limited playtime:
    Nullsec requires a bit of playtime to really do anything. Fleet ops always take more than a couple of hours. Even PvE can take a while. If you really are limited in playtime by such an amount perhaps a nullsec alliance is not a good idea.

    Point 3 skill queue:
    This is where I really disagree with you. When I join an alliance for the first time I ask: What ships do you require on ops? What skills do i need to train to have the most use to my alliance mates? What can I do to make myself as useful as possible to my friends?
    I think it is extremely selfish to disregard the needs of your alliance in some cases. For example:
    Corp CEO:
    Drakefleets are our minimum requirement, they take you two weeks to train for. Please train them for the good of your corpmates.
    Special snowflake: Im sorry I cannot spare two weeks, I have a skillpoint plan mapped out for the nest 3 years that I am not willing to change. No it wont involve me being in any way useful to my corp, but I dont care. I am only in your corp for PvE isk anyway. Someone else can do the defending of our space.

    Do you see the problem with the above situation?
    You are not showing any comitemnt to your Corp. You are not doing the bare minimum to be any use in defending corp assets.
    Its like a WOW tank raider saying: No I wont be wearing any high end gear in our raids, I dont like the look of it. I dont care if I get everyone wiped. Its my game you cant tell me what to do.

    Ask yourself WHY you want to train for whatever command ship you think you need. What is the point? You wont get anything out of it in a corp of three. It will be just another thing that you can say you can fly.

    Lets try putting it another way.
    When you were in EQ or whatever and in a guild. Were you a completely selfish B@@D that never helped anyone else and just used the guild for your own progression when needed?
    Chances are you didnt. You probably helped lowbies with quests. You probably geared the right way to tackle high end encounters. You probably helped other top level players with hard content when asked. There is really no difference here to making a comitment to fly the fleet ops basic ships.

    So for me it comes down to two questions if you are considering a nullsec alliance:
    1. Will I have too limited a playtime to make it feasible? (Most alliances understand the need for breaks etc as long as you let them know. But you need to at least have a few uninterpted hours in a row a couple of times a week or its not worth going out there).
    2. Am I willing to change my skillplan and be an asset to my corpmates? (If not I would suggest you should stay in highsec).

    Again, I cannot emphasise this point enough. What is it with people that think their own personal skillplan is more important than being an asset to their friends? It just boggles my mind. What the hell is the goal of training if not to be an asset to your friends?

    1. Regarding your Goonswarm hate comment:
      they operate as a mob, do as they are told, if they are told to bot, they will, if they told to go bully somebody, they will, if they are told to lie and cheat, they will. Mob mentality and manipulation at its finest.
      What is there not to hate?

    2. I am not saying they do not operate in a mob, just that they specifically do not bot "en masse as a mob" as ordered by the directors. That has been my experience, do you have evidence to suggest this is wrong?

    3. Dear Scrod Remy... lighten up.
      The man dint say he dint care about his potential corpmates, he said he simply has a plan and desired to stick with it. OK, cool, in your corp search ask if it is OK with them if you stick to your plan... if yes, all good, if no, keep lookin.

      There are corps out there that dunt require you to skill to thier needs, thier fleets are catch as catch can. Plus if you can fly all Minnies hulls well, then you can fit whatever, frig, cruiser, BC, BS, to order... no prob.

  7. After reading my comment it seems to come across as an attack. Im sorry it is not meant to be.

    I also apporve of the use of Clear Skies quotes :) That was a masterpiece of machinima.

    1. That's okay. And you made my point for me. I don't want to be that guy who says that my plans are more important than what my corp needs. So if I finish my plans first, I'll be a better corpmate if I actually do apply to a corp. Not being a jerk is a pretty important goal when you play in a single shard game.

  8. Ehhmm... I think people have pointed out your wrongness, but I'll reinforce just in case:

    5. Buying PLEX. It is often easier to make money in-game in large corporations. You might have access to alliance ratting space, or you have corp mates who can help carrier jump some stuff to NPC null so you can run pirate missions. Also, as mentioned, many corps will pay for ships you lose in PvP. Noir. pays for Logistics; CFC pays for any approved fittings lost on ops.

    4. Or you can help the noobs out in your new corp. vOv

    3. You can rest assured that you are wasting SP's on BlackOps. But, on the other hand, by being able to fly Minny T2 Cruisers, you are definitely helping the corp. Scimitars are probably the most used Logistics ship, and Recons always have a place in gang.

    2. These stories are made up. Not even the ebil Goonies tell members to bot. Like literally, you're jumping at shadows here.

    1. Almost all corps understand that RL > Eve. If you find yourself in a corp that is nagging you to spend time in-game that you can't, then find another corp.

    So yeah, these are all pretty dumb reasons you give to not join a large corporation.

    THAT IS NOT TO SAY, HOWEVER, that there aren't reasons to not join a large corporation. Many pilots enjoy the small corp lifestyle, and this being a video game, you should do what you find fun.

    1. WOW... how iz it up inda nosebleed section?
      "I has pointed out your wrongness?" on HIS blog?? Asshat.

      "...wasting skill on BlackOps"... says who? I disagree. Period.

      "..made up stories.." again, says who? You? So you persoanlly know EVERY corpmate of every corp in EVE? I too have heard 'rumors' of this, but I do not pretend to KNOW from ON HIGH.

      "...dumb reasons..." again with the disrespect on his own blog... sheesh.

    2. Sry, couldnt help post responses to above, I too have a blog and I do not have any issue with anyone saying "I disagree"... but I do take umbrage at being told I am "wrong" on a website devoted to my opinion.

      Anyhoo... my home corp ia a three man corp comprised of me (51, PC Tech) my son (active duty Marine) and a corpmate of his (inactive duty Marine in college). We are wormholers at heart and by training and trade. We have no desire to ever be a large corp, we are very, VERY cautious when looking at new recruits.

      I agree with you completely. We want to play EVE at our pace and in OUR style... Yes, being in a corp has some advatages over solo... but I know a Hisec War Dec'er, a good friend, who has been a one man corp for years and he does just fine and has a ball flying in New Eden, HIS way. =]

  9. I for one enjoyed solo-playing EVE. I did join a couple corps for a couple of years and did the sov thing, held some lowsec and such. Hated every minute of that. I think the worst decision I ever made in EVE was going to null. The pvp, pve, every aspect of null bored me to tears. Life in an Alliance was simply a soul-sucking existance. I moved back to high sec but the enjoyment had been sucked out of the game. So after 4 years, I hung up the accounts.

    A friend had emailed me Jester's atricle that linked to this blog. I guess he thought I would be interested in coming back. I'm not, but I found the article interesting.