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Reader Comments (28)

Posted: Feb 27th 2011 9:51PM herculesmrb said

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Brendan,

I enjoy your articles every week. As a person who deals with a family member who battles with clinical depression, I can feel for you when you are hit by an especially difficult episode. Most people I have met online have a tough time opening up about personal issues affecting game play, especially when it involves 'jobs' and such that EVE online creates within a corporation.

I applaud your honesty and openness regarding your personal life and goals for the corporation. The corporation (seemingly now alliance) is in good hands, and as a newer (only 6 months played or so) I will remind you (a veteran player): everything in EVE takes time. I am sure you are aware of that fact, but I believe that only good will come of this project you have taken on.

EVE is a very special game - and I always smile when I read different articles that present very creative community driven entertainment in the genre.

Best of luck to you and your alliance.

Posted: Feb 28th 2011 7:04AM halfcaptain said

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@herculesmrb

hey, ditto.
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Posted: Feb 27th 2011 11:49PM psycros said

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EVE Online is the LAST game anyone with depression should be playing. And every single aspect you mention about the game all add up to one inescapable reality: EVE sucks, and will never be more than a niche game for a handful of pirates, pirate-wannabes and their naive victims. The studio and publisher who have the courage and talent to create an EVE-type game that's actually *good* will know Blizzard levels of success.

Posted: Feb 28th 2011 12:58AM Aetrix said

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@psycros

If you possess the intelligence to avoid the pirates and understand the complexities it's actually a very good game.

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Posted: Feb 28th 2011 2:30AM PrimeSynergy said

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@Aetrix I agree 100%.. It might seem intimidating at first glance, but once you start to understand how everything works, a world opens up unlike any other and it's a blast all the way through.

And @psycros I think CCP is the only company capable and/or willing to make this type of game. I think they're doing a fantastic job too. The problem isn't with them though, it's with the consumer.

A lot of people don't want this type of game and there is absolutely nothing wrong that. This is not a genre that has mass appeal. A lot of people don't want to be in a fantasy world with realistic consequences and because of that, i don't think these types of games will ever reach 'Blizzard level success.'

That said, if the developers learn from their mistakes and successes, have enough money to not only keep doing what they're doing AND expand on a yearly basis, and are able to keep their loyal fans then I don't see the problem.

Just because they're not raking in billions a month does not make them a failure. They are anything but that. They created a game like none other and it's doing very well.. They can only continue to grow.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2011 7:01AM halfcaptain said

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@psycros

That is a ridiculous thing to say. Taking a jab at EVE by disclaiming it's unworthiness to those 'with depression' is a totally specious argument, and frankly, another shining example of a prevailing shitty attitude and willing ignorance about mental health. I have struggled with bipolar disorder for years and I, for one, am pretty disgusted that you've chosen to deride a game on those grounds.

First, you clearly don't have much understanding about how EVE works, which leads me to believe you played very, very briefly - if at all. Second, your 'handful of pirates' and 'niche game' comments are as stock as troll comments come, and are a couple other examples of totally stupid, baseless things to say.

Like I said, as a dude diagnosed with bipolar disorder going on ten years ago, I sympathise with Mr. Drain, and wish him the best of luck. I can also say that for a person grappling with depression, EVE is a pretty great diversion. Real-time skill training doesn't guilt you into playing excessively, and the space sandbox gives you a good way to keep things fresh. You can design your own EVE adventures to give you a tailored experience that fits your life and your state of mind. That is why EVE, to me, is a game that doesn't impede my real-life or my dealings with unfortunate brain-chemistry.

That said, single-handedly running a corp, even for someone that is impeccably balanced, is a really challenging thing to do. EVE corporations can be just as hardcore as the most hardcore raiding guilds, and keeping them together requires sometimes herculean effort and plenty of burdensome responsibility. Delegation, as Brendan wrote, is really the best and only way to let off the pressure, but comes with it's own bag of problems. In my experience, the best corp leadership has been small, tight-knit groups of 25+ year-old players that as well as sharing responsibilities, know one another pretty well in real life.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2011 2:46AM Uffo said

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I'm no expert in corp management, but would it be possible to have a separate wallet or corporation or whatever to hold some assets where only the one highest leader has access and then have some other wallets/corps/hangars or whatever where the lieutenants have access. Now just make sure to have enough resources secured so that if someone does steal every thing in one corp/wallet, the corp can bounce back by whatever is in the secure storage.

I suppose dividing the group into multiple corps of one alliance and not giving anyone access to all the resources of the entire alliance would sort of accomplish this as well.

Posted: Feb 28th 2011 6:55AM Dblade said

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They shoudn't have to rely on corp assets to fight a war. You would have gotten seriously cleaned out if you opened the hangars and the wardeccers had a spy alt in the massively mob. I always try to be self-sufficient in corp and out, because you never know what might happen. Ship replacement is fine for suicide roams or in case of emergency.

As for the rest, I don't think you were wrong. EVE trumpets the whole "cold, hard, world" and while you are sad this disbanded over lack of freedom, we could have very well seen you split or get cleaned out from a thief. Given how many reports of corp thievery and disbanding, I'd say your lack of trust was not irrational.

Then again, I really don't see the appeal to most EVE corps. Most could be replaced by a simple chat channel among friends, and gain more in wardec protection than they lose in taxes and POS capability. Defending them is a lot of energy as you have shown, when it's even possible.



Posted: Feb 28th 2011 7:25AM (Unverified) said

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Good article :)

Being in the Massively Mob has got me back into EVE and I'm really enjoying it again. Admittedly I'm one of the 'splitters' with Massively Dynamic and I'm rather enjoying the whole nullsec experience (for possibly the first time).

I agree with many of the points here that EVE is great game if you're willing to put the time and effort into learning it. It's certainly no, in any sense, a casual game and so isn't everyone's cup of tea. That's life though. I hate the WoW clones and other folks hate EVE. We're both happy in our respective games :)

As for depression... EVE does has it's highs and lows but, as an occasional sufferer, it causes me no more problems than any other game and I often enjoy the soothing emptiness of space and the chatter of my corp mates.

Posted: Feb 28th 2011 8:40AM ScottishViking said

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Hey Brendan,

Appreciate your honesty. I joined up to the Massively corp thinking it would be a lot of fun and watched as the war with the Warsmiths ripped it apart. I also lobbied for change and was pleased when Nimloth and Communist split off to form Massively Dynamic (best. corp. name. ever.). The big thing for me wasn't necessarily hangar access, it was the lack of organization during a war. With nobody to coordinate roams or counter-attacks, the Warsmiths picked us apart in a well-executed highsec war. I know some in the corp would disagree, saying that we "won" by denying them targets, but the reality is they gave way, way more than they got. It was really frustrating not to have any real central leadership during this time.

But this is part of the game, and I bear no grudge. In fact, it took some courage to write this article and I commend you for it. I may sign up for Massively Motivated if my current Plan B corp doesn't work out.

Posted: Mar 1st 2011 7:26PM Brendan Drain said

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@ScottishViking The problem was that we were trying to do both at once -- denying them kills from PvE players and organise counterattacks with PvP players. Because we were engaging them, they were entertained enough to keep the war going, which would be fine if it were a purely PvP corp. But for the PvE members, it was bad. The war should never have gone into its second week, but they found it entertaining enough to want to do that.

I left Nimloth in charge of organising the PvP effort in my absence, and we had been discussing creating a PvP corp but I wanted to wait until after the war as we needed our PvP players in the corp for the war. In the end, Nimloth saw too many people were annoyed and quitting over the war and so he started the PvP corp straight away (a move I support in retrospect). Warsmiths declared war on them and cancelled the war with the mob, presumably because they were interested in the fights they had been getting.

In future wars, the PvE corp will leave the alliance to cancel the wardec early and practise total target denial to make us an unappealing target. The PvP corp isn't in the alliance, so if anyone wants to pick a fight with us, they should go pick on the PvP corp out in Syndicate. They'll get nothing out of the PvE corp.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2011 11:29AM kgptzac said

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I'm curious by spliting the pvp from the pve crowd how does it make pve corp less likely to get wardecced?

Posted: Feb 28th 2011 1:15PM ScottishViking said

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@kgptzac In theory it doesn't. However, most highsec wars are not very profitable without targets. With an organized effort at target denial, as opposed to confrontation, you can usually make life expensive for smaller, privateer corps/alliances. Unless your corp/alliance is extremely rich and can afford a "grudge dec," just for the hell of it, it isn't worth their while to maintain a costly dec while not getting any targets.

That said, Massively Motivated is still likely to get decced at some point.
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Posted: Mar 1st 2011 1:28AM Brendan Drain said

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@kgptzac When we had PvP people in the corp, the corp's goals during a war were split. The PvP guys were out trying to score some kills, thus giving the enemy the fights they wanted. This encouraged them to keep the wardec going, which is not ideal for the people who don't want to fight. If wardecced, the PvE corp will simply practice target denial. We'll stay docked and tell them they can go pick a fight with the PvP corp who are interested in it.
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Posted: Mar 3rd 2011 4:19PM kgptzac said

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@Brendan Drain

Makes sense. The system is far from perfect and now is still too easy for griefdec, but your method probably is the most logical way to deal with it.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2011 1:16PM (Unverified) said

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Good to hear the corp is back on track, I enjoyed joining massively's pub channel in game and to also help out new guys coming into eve. It can get hairy and out of control without delegation, but im glad to see you gents are back on your feet, as always enjoyed the article and best of luck with the corp.

Posted: Feb 28th 2011 6:26PM PiOmega said

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"Where I really failed was in not trusting corp members with anything above this basic level of access." eh yeah, I mean with 10% tax on some 200 members, hard to believe that at any given time there was only 20m worth in modules available. Been playing about 6 weeks, spent over 100m on a single non-faction frigate yesterday... and need to spend more really. Maybe not so affordable to be a new player now compared to years ago? Maybe you are saving ISK's up for something?

Though I was told in massively chat that all you guys were going to do was go after incursions, which for a new player doesn't sound so inviting ;) I could see the need for ISK's spent by the corp to do wormholes, but was told emphatically that wormholes etc won't be done/supported by the corp. Not told by a trusted member of course, I looked for regular members to talk to about the corp, but everyone was entry title/untrusted in your public chat which struck me odd, as if none were even active with the corp to get that promo mentioned in earlier descriptions of how progression worked within the corp. So wound up waiting for public activities to join and get the info I needed before joining.

But then your war came, which essentially shut down any public activities. I asked about this in massively chat and the response I got was that the war was a scheduled event. I then considered sending a message with questions to the CEO but saw it mentioned in chat that the CEO was rarely on. Then even the mob members with the simple untrusted entry titles vanished from the channel in time, as then did I along with the impression that the corp was really geared for vet players alone; returning and long-term active.

This sheds a little light on the whole thing though. See, I was a founding member and officer (the events organizer) of one of the largest guilds in UO some years ago, and seriously it is a lot of work and a rl skill to learn in regards to making it all operate, building a reputation for being a fun guild that people would just join by that rather than recruitment campaigns or even bribes as some do lol. But in the bad guilds I've seen, and I've seen many, mostly the leadership just does not care. That though is opposed to just being unskilled at it, which by what you said I would say that is the learning curve you are now dealing with, which is good as many at that point in realization just abuse the system and let it fall apart intentionally or unintentionally.

And another thing you are dealing with is a sudden and overwhelming growth of a group of players rather than a slow buildup over months or years. For a lot of reasons, this makes it even more difficult to cope with even for skilled leadership, for many reasons. We always referred to it as growth pains, which tends to magnify exponentially. This is where the true worth of the officers weigh in, and the potential for success or utter failure. And really, if the leader tries to handle the things that the officers should be doing (which is most of the work actually), then the exponential multiplier tends to kick up another notch or two.

Here is the thing though, it never ends. It may settle for a time, if you are lucky, but the variations are immense, and always effecting different people in different ways. The skill learnt is how to deal with it, how to react, and how to not take your work home with you at the end of the day, so to speak.

Good luck :)

Posted: Feb 28th 2011 7:02PM wfseg said

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Yeah, it is hard to trust complete strangers.

Posted: Mar 1st 2011 10:55AM Darkdust said

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Props for 'coming out' like that. I'm right there with you, buddy, and many other EVE players (just like every other segment of humanity) are, too.

Posted: Mar 1st 2011 12:16PM (Unverified) said

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Excellent article. As a former member of Massively Mob who moved on to the new PvP corp, I thought it would help to add a bit of perspective.

Brendan's honesty has been important and valued to understand what was happening in the middle of our war "crisis". As a PvE focussed player playing my first 2-3 monts of EvE, the situation taught some lessons of its own to me.

Based on discussions we were having in the Corp, hangar management and corp wallet access was really a minor issue. The real price you pay when there is only one person minding the store [to the jerks above, it isn't about your ignorace towards mental illness or any other health issue, it's about responsibility not being broadly enough defined] is not being able to organize people or set expectations.

The war Massively Mob found itself fighting was exacerbated by an inablity to clear the member rolls of inactive members (keeping us from looking so juicy), an inability to enforce fleet discipline (the members who lost industrials and other ships 3-5 jumps from the enemy headquarters were just fueling the fire), and an inabilty to engage in proper diplomacy. Whether the longterm goal of Massively Mob was ever going to have it join other alliances, there was no one there to discuss how we could team up with other corporations at war with our enemy, or at least none who had any real authority. The officer roles were all just activity coordinators, in essence volunteers who agreed to put in more time keeping other members busy.

As a number of us reflected, we were experiencing none of the benefits while suffering many of the detriments of being in a player owned corporation.

As the PvE officer, for instance, we also had an old event lingering for which no prizes were given out. That was the only part of no wallet access that might have mattered. However it was more important to me to reflect on how hard it was becoming to motivate PvE players and get them focussed on staying out of harm's way.

There is no doubt in my mind that you can shape the sandbox to play PvE style, but if you want to fly a ship your options are sensibly staying in an NPC corp to avoid wars, or aligning with PvP players to ensure there are defense fleets, and to get PvP experience. Otherwise you are relegated to being a station trader or an industrialist.

Under different circumstances, I think the war could easily have been an event (despite one of the criticisms above). There were more than a few PvP focussed players who now had another corporation to shoot in high sec. Massively Mob was able to get more than a few high value kills during the course of the war.

Whether on account of health, vacation, family emergencies, or anything else, corporations have to plan for what it would mean if there are no leaders on line for an extended period of time.

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