Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A few responses

If nothing else, it appears that this blog is serving to allow some discussion back and forth between the various folks involved and that's fine with me.

Comment threads are hard to follow, so I'm working on some alternatives, but for now, I'll pull out a few specific items and respond here to keep things moving along.

From Rodney:
"I guess my concern with your suggestions would be that a lot of the experience you talk about seems to be either difficult to obtain for someone who joined another corp for a "sabbatical", or doesn't seem to be any higher-value for being acquired elsewhere, other than the PvP experience aspect.

Wouldn't it also be difficult to find someone who was out there in the real game, away from the Uni, and was willing to give up a big chunk of their time to come back and serve as Eve Uni's Director of Personnel, or Logistics, or Education?"

My suggestion was simply that a Director has to have flown with someone else, not that they serve in a position of leadership. DirLog (for example) could bring a much broader perspective of the logistics opportunities available to players having served in a corp that is focused strictly on mining or production. Bringing that knowledge back into Uni would be a significant benefit.

I think you would be surprised how many Uni vets and/or Uni supporters would return.

As far as any hypothetical return, I don't think that's in the cards, so speculation about tactical decisions, rather than strategic issues, would only tend to be divisive and draw the focus away from more fundamental questions.

From Ethan:
"At any point today was the success of your POS-removal mission in jeopardy? I'm pretty sure it wasn't, we may have had more ships but you had vastly more tonnage. I'm just curious what you have to say about it."

In terms of the overall mission and fulfillment of our contract obligations, I don't think so. The lag was very pronounced, but those of us who lacked big POS warfare experience learned tons about the appropriate techniques to minimize the lag experienced, to fight through it and be effective. I was surprised at the number of battleships it took. My expectation, based on my time at Uni was that a large Empire faction Deathstar POS would require between 100-150 battleships to take down. Our fleet peaked at around 50 or so.

Uni FC faced a tough proposition being outgunned against a group that was clearly willing to absorb losses to achieve the objective.

From Andrew:
"I'm still struck by the apparent split between the "it's not personal" claims, and the arguments we see everyday."

Let me try it this way:

The decision to issue merc contracts against Uni was highly personal for the issuer.

My decision to participate was not personal and remains so. I'm not going to make any isk out of it and didn't expect to do so.

What I did expect was to learn more about how to fight on the outnumbered side of typical Uni engagements and to blow stuff up. I expected that, unlike some Uni opponents, Seppuku would bring the fight early and often and that no one would ever be able to accuse us of dec'ing and then fading into the woodwork.

My expectations have been met so far!

From Kelduum:
"However, there is a discussion topic open on the Directors forum at the moment as to how we can rectify this, but of course, getting everyone in battleships without the ability to fit them properly is never a good idea."

There has been a thread discussing that topic almost continuously for years. The root cause is the Catch-22 of needing experienced, skilled combat pilots, but not being able to 1) retain them or 2) recruit them. In any organization, if the big picture attitudes and policies are consistently not allowing objectives to be achieved, then something has to change significantly.


Anonymous said...

AK here -

#1 - Not Trolling you - just not understanding your suggestions. I think these are the three your referring to:

Suggested 'Big Picture' changes:

- To serve as a Director, a player should have more than three month's experience flying with another corp in their area of expertise.

- Directors should serve staggered terms of not more than 1 year. Repeat terms should be allowed, but only after a 'sabbatical' of three months flying with someone else.

- A full and complete financial report (balance sheet, income statement and isk flow) and report of Departmental activities should be prepared quarterly and released to all involved parties, including students and contributors.

The focus of these suggestions is to make sure that Uni presents a < b > balanced and up to date viewpoint of the game and is accountable to external supporters for Uni's stewardship of their support. < b >

About the only thing I can get from this - especially with the shadowy "unknown issuer of the contract" - is STILL that someone has their interest in seeing the Uni become more PVP focused, when thats clearly not a good idea for the Uni. Agony does it, Snigg does it, why should the Uni?

What part of the Uni's Teachings are out of date? How is the Uni failing in the *stewardship* area?

Can't dec the uni and blow the POS without having people ask these questions.

Sincerly, I am not/nor will I try to TROLL you - I really just don't get it.


Dee Carson said...


The issue is not that Uni needs to be more PvP focused at all. The issue is that without 'outside blood', if you will, the only viewpoint of the Eve Universe is the one presented by folks that have never experienced it outside the Uni environment.

For specific out of date teachings, the only external evidence one can look at is PvP related, because of the nature of the killboards, and I've already pointed out at least 2 instances where individual, experienced pilots were flying fits that did not reflect the recent EWAR changes. I'd also suggest that if it takes more than an hour to form up a 30 man noobship gang for a 1v30 'demonstration' fight and a significant number of your pilots still showed up with civilian guns and mining lasers fitted that there could be room for some improvement in several areas.

With respect to the suggestion for more open accountability, I'm not implying that there has been any failure at all. Uni enjoys an unusual level of public support and it seems reasonable that those supporters see, for example, that the faction tower that we popped has already been replaced twice over.

As far as the sinister figure standing in the background, none of us can tell you who it is (I'm sure you understand why). But, rest assured, Uni leadership knows who it is and what the final straw was that triggered these events.

I'll also be watching with great interest what happens with the Uni pilot or pilots who employed smart bombs during the POS fight. Killing neutrals is not only a violation of Concord law, but also of Uni ROE. The significant neg sec status that resulted would preclude such pilots from flying with the Uni in the past and has been used as grounds for showing someone the door.

Rodney Chips (E-UNI) said...

Thanks for your responses to my points. I have to say it sounds reasonable enough at the moment, I hope some useful changes come from it.

About the "personal" thing - OK, people have been banging on about it a lot, so skip ahead a couple of paragraphs if you're sick of hearing it. I think the issue got confused by the way the war, and the communications from your guys, got started. I'm awaiting Mordo's letter with interest, but at the start, it was presented to us basically as a chance to have fun, blow off steam, and then set each other mutually neutral, taking advantage of the fact that Uni was at war anyway. Then it was a merc contract that was simply too good to refuse. Then we started getting dark hints about how our leadership had been "unfriendly" to you. Then you attacked the POS, but assured us it was just to draw us out. Then you attacked the POS for real.

Sabre's been insisting it's all about the money in some places, but also tag-teaming Mordo in local chat to jointly attribute it to Kelduum "running his mouth". Acacia told us it was about raw PvP fun, you told us it was a bit of both plus an attempt to teach us something. You're under no obligation to care at all what we think about it, and you certainly weren't obliged to tell us that the POS was part of your contract, but from what people are saying, a lot of our guys would have taken it a lot less personally if we'd had the clarity of knowing from the start whatever Mordo's going to tell us now. Most people like to know *why* they're fighting, and given the mixed messages we've been getting, the people who do lean in the Serious Business direction have been simply assuming the worst.

"Personal" commentary ends here. IMO, re the Concord and the neutrals - meh. That pilot didn't go out of his way to attack neutrals; they stuck their faces into a battlefield they had no reason to be flying around on. I'd be very disappointed in my leaders if they came down too hard on him for it; that kind of rigidity simply leaves us open to future opponents being able to Concord-tank their drone swarms with a single Ibis. It would be bureaucratic madness, and if this has happened before under similar circumstances, it was then as well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dee. For a minute there you started sounding like a Lawyer and not a Texan!

(Just kidding man!)


Anonymous said...

You know, when I got mugged in Austin at an ATM and was pistol-whipped across the face, I guess that the mugger was just trying to teach me about situational awareness. (Insert joke about internet spaceships=serious business) But that is how your rationalizations sound. None of these lessons required you to dec the Uni in order to teach them.

Morning Maniac said...

Short comment here.

We are looking into how we can get people into ships that they can actually fly fairly well. We will never be able to take on 60 bs/hac gangs. As you know, most of our wars we don't face that and we simply can't keep that many pvp minded pilots entertained so that we can deal with the few occasions that we do face this kind of firepower/tank. To change policies so that we can is not something we want to do so we just have to deal with being outgunned sometimes.

About the smartbombs. You're just trying to pick a fight there, you know that's a non issue. On a gate in jita it might have been an issue. At a moon with just alts and can looters it isn't.

Morning Maniac said...

Some bit I want to share with you all from our directors' forum:

From Dee's blog:
As far as the sinister figure standing in the background, none of us can tell you who it is (I'm sure you understand why). But, rest assured, Uni leadership knows who it is and what the final straw was that triggered these events.

I have no clue. Well, I could perhaps make a list but still wouldn't know for sure.


Others don't know either. Sure we have clues but nothing solid. If I would have a clue I would be talking to that person who seems to have forgotten that the uni is not about the 30-50 senior guys but about the 100s of others.


Cazzah (E-UNI) said...

Dee are you *sure*, absolutely *sure* that the leadership knows what it is your contractor has a problem with? Everyone I talk to has no idea. I get told by people in SW that its very important, but they don't know anything either, but they're totally sure my mind will be blown when someone else tells me what they don't even know.

Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be if the contractor had made all these decs, and the Uni leadership didn't even know what it was about still?!

Maybe you should just come out with the reasons the contractor has for being angry, and blow all our minds, because it is clearly very important to him that he disrupts a group of hundreds of people - I'm sure he at least wishes they knew how he had been mistreated.

Dee Carson said...

@ MM & Cazzah

I am *sure* that members of your leadership team know who is behind the decs. I assumed that information would be shared, but perhaps not. I'll have nothing more to say about the identity of the issuer of the contract.