A brief description on the Bat Phone and what it is.
The term Bat Phone refers back to Commissioner Gordon’s “secure line” to batman in the 1966 TV show “Batman”. The term was adopted as a reference for a secure line given directly to key/selected individuals to use in emergencies. The reason Commissioner Gordon used it was a need for some extra vigilante caped crusader action. The reason bat man answered it was the normal day to day that Commissioner Gordon put up with batman’s level of involvement wasn’t needed. It was a mutual beneficial relationship.
In EVE and especially where I live in EVE, W-space, the bat phone is in full effect. What I would like to talk about today is how it’s used, why it’s used or if it’s used too often.
Isogen 5 (the corp I’m a part of) is very similar to my old corp, SUSU. Iso5 a corp almost totally devoted to pvp in w-space. Occasionally we venture out to other places, but for the most part W-space is the place. How we find targets is focusing on scouting chains and creating situations from the targets available. Sometimes (most) we bite off more than we can chew.
One of the best things about w-space and one of the worst is how small it is. I don’t mean small as in size, but I’m referring to a small town feel you get when you live in it for a very long time. Everyone knows everyone and reputation is key. Break your word, disrespect someone, insult someone or a group of someone’s, it’s difficult to just blend back into the crowd like say... Null sec.
What tends to happen is, people with similar goals, group up for a potentially positive outcome. These temporary blue agreements almost never result in betrayal of the parties involved. If they did, they could consider that phone line cut and if any other people heard about it, they would cut their lines fairly quickly too. W-space pvp gangs operate how different wolf pack groups operate in the wild. Teaming up just long enough to get the kill, get some lunch and GTFO of there.
Good Reasons for the bat phones.
1. 1. The smaller calling a bigger corp/group for back up gets support to pull off larger ops they normally wouldn’t get to because of lower member counts. Lower member counts means you have less content ‘mouths to feed’. Good if you want to stay nimble with the direction of your corp.
2. The person answering the smaller corp/group get to feed their large group of people content. This can be a challenge without connections. The more connected your group is, can be measured by its successes. More successes, the more talent that wants to be a part of your group. Good for replacing inactive members and maintaining strength and all the benefits that come with that strength.
Bad Things about bat phones.
1. 1. Your individual reputation for both the small corp using a bat phone and the larger group answering can be altered. Example: Commissioner Gordon just becomes a tool for batman, instead of “Commissioner” and all the job activities linked to that title, he might just get known for “Just that guy who calls batman” I’m sure Commissioner Gordon had a normal day to day outside of talking on the phone. His reputation may be tarnished because of this tool.
2. 2. If you use it too much and your enemies know this it could change the importance of it. Worse, it may go from boon to a hindrances. Example: If the Joker knows Commissioner Gordon is going to pick up the bat phone each and every time, he could lay a trap for batman, using Gordon as the catalyst. This has the possible outcome of bat man taking away Gordon’s phone.
Both of these sets points are argued about extensively in every W-space corp I have ever been a part of. Typically the arguments all stem “did you use it too much?… did you use the wrong one?… did you fuck up and use it when it wasn’t needed?”
When I was a CEO those previously mentioned comments kept me awake. Its no small wonder why so many CEO's simply give up, make a call on the process and forget about the arguments, for and agienst.
My opinions on the tactic:
EVE and its game play have 10 times as many opinions about right and wrong game play,than players in the game. This is what makes the game so interesting. My own opinion is whatever brings inter-pilot friendship and game play is a good thing. Even if those activities have a negative ISK growth outcome with all parties involved, including my own.
I have worked long and hard in this game to convince myself and others that ISK generation/retention isn’t the only way to play this game. Accepting that another persons game style is just as valid as mine might be the hardest task in EVE.
The ISK generation style of game play has a path and interceding that path are people who wish to derail that game play goal for their own amusement. You would think that both styles of game play are diametrically apposed, they aren’t. They are so reliant on each other, if one would disappear the other wouldn’t be worth practicing.
Bat phoning is the path that both parties can use for different reasons, but when they use that path there are inherent consequences linked to the use of that path.
I wish I could make some kind of profound point to this post, I can’t, but I do want to talk more about it with people. So if you have an opinion on the topic, please reply to this post and sell me on your way of thinking.
Keep in mind your way of thinking isn't 100% right in fact it may be 100% wrong to someone else. I think what I'm really getting at is, I value your conveyed point of view to further solidify my own, I also hope that my own opinion does the same for you.
The goal of this post is to attempt to bring in a greater level of personal investment no matter your position on the topic.