Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hunters Theatre

TLDR: I babble on about how tricking, hunting, shooting players is OK, because not too would breed weaker/dumber players. 

Wspace to me is a microcosm of society and nature. Some of the same behaviors that are observed in  nature could be analogized into Wspace. The behavior I want to talk about today is what I like to call Hunters Theatre!

Humans have been practicing theatre or story telling since before we could even speak. It was and still is, a way of communicating to an audience through actions, speech and symbolism. 

Animals in the wild do the same thing. Some birds will often try flapping around on the ground to  lure a predator away from vulnerable offspring. They are creating theatre for predators to benefit the prey. 

Predators are no different in their attempts to deceive. Sometimes a crafty predators will  wiggle an evolutionary adaptation appendage, that resembles a common food source to lure in prey to a hungry waiting mouth.

Well, EVE is no different in the predator and prey relationship.

Isogen 5 practices the play style of being hunters of players. We kill without mercy because it is what we do. We respect our prey, because without them, our play style wouldn’t exist. 

We aren’t the apex predator in the pond of W-space, in fact we are small time in comparison to other hunters. We frequently become the prey for larger more fierce predators ourselves, but we do our best to not get eaten, just like our prey. 

Players often confuse malice for other players as our driving force, it’s not. The driving force or challenge of our actions is what draws us in. The desire to be the best hunters in the game. Not the biggest, but best, in proportion to our size.

Since we don’t have size on our side, we need to rely on our wits. Enter Hunter Theatre!

Everyone knows the term “Bait”. That’s just the simple term for theatre, but it doesn't describe the activity to the degree that's needed. It’s like saying a 4th grade school play is the same as a Broadway production. The crafty hunter must attempt to put on a show, that removes all reasonable doubt from the prey’s mind. That show must convince the prey, that something, some activity is exactly as it seems. We need to fool or bring a level of illusion to the prey’s minds just long enough to strike.  The goal isn’t to be 100% convincing, it’s to be 100% plausible.


The drake. The drake is the actor, his activities the plot, the stage is the class of wormhole. If the drake is to convince his audience, that is isn’t totally out of place, he needs to follow the plot and be on the correct stage.

A drake sitting still on a C6 wormhole is as convincing to the audience as Hamlet driving a car. Though the actor may be correct, his stage and activities are wrong.

A drake with drones out, in a C2 site, creating sleeper wrecks is a probable situation. This isn’t a 100% convincing scenario, but it’s a 100% probable or plausible scenario.

A skilled player or someone paying attention to detail can see through the ruse. They could check his kill board history and see that this actor has used this seemingly PVE drake two other times that week, with 8 other ships, to kill a fooled target. The lazy/foolish/inexperienced get caught, the suspicious/intelligent live.

Eventually if the bait is used too often or too frequently word gets around, that nearly all drakes doing c2 sites with drones out are in fact bait. The interesting thing is, not all drakes are bait and not all bait are drakes. So even if the prey doesn’t adapt, he may not encounter the same situation twice. This is to the benefit of all players who both bite bait and legitimate drakes who aren’t baiting.

In w-space the stage is always changing, the plot doesn’t always work for the audience and the actor is frequently questionable. Making a plausible theatre scenario, is what separates a crafty hunter from a sloppy one. This in turn keeps hunter corps at a minimum and doesn't totally extinguish the food supply. Its a delicate balance that has ways of self correcting.


The paladin. The paladin is the actor, his activities are ratting/traveling and the stage is an occupied C4 with pilots ships on scan. Now its plausible that a paladin can be in a C4, and its plausible that the paladin could be traveling from one hole to another or even site running, but in an occupied C4? No one with that level of ISK is going to be solo in a C4 with piloted ships on scan. People who make those choices don’t keep paladins long. Theatre unconvincing. The only way for the theatre to be convincing is to act like someone who has that ship and doesn’t want to lose it.

The problem is, if the people we are baiting aren’t 100% on the ball, they will miss the bait, which is how people keep ships like that. 

The actor could warp from one hole to another and try and get out of danger as quickly as possible. I’ve done it, some of you have done it.. This makes it plausible. What if the paladin sits 20 off the hole? Have you done that before? Never when my intention was to keep my paladin intact. That one little factoid could shatter an illusion.

What’s worse is, when Isogen5 did this very tactic… the prey/targets had no real interest in biting the bait in the first place. My dad would say, “that’s why they call it fishing and not catching, now shut up and get me a beer before I dress you like your sister again”.

One of the really great things about EVE and theatre is, what I (Spear) find convincing or plausible isn’t what others may find convincing or plausible. That’s what makes this process so enticing for both predators and prey. 

Now do you see why we do what we do? The pure challenge of it. Not because we had a hard day at work and want to beat up on some newbies with our T3’s.

We aren't chasing people out of EVE (as suggested in some after action conversations I have had in the past), we are adding the danger of consequence to every plausible situation.

The T3’s are the teeth and they are efficient as hell on chewing up poor hapless newbies. But the theatre… the hunt.. .the out witting of your fellow man… That’s something...

1 comment:

  1. Ratting in a populated system is actually more commoon than you think. Not in a c5 but c4 and below we see it from time to time. If you know its the inhabitants work/sleep hours end use their tags it may even be safer than ratting in a empty system. Hope you get the chance to bite one of our new baits soon aswell ;)