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MetagamingAs the Dysprosium War continues to shape the map of New Eden, continual cries of metagaming are made across the annals of CAOD. All sides claim the other is guilty of using any and all tactics to gain an advantage.
The extent of paranoia which pilots have was clear as I sat on TeamSpeak this past weekend listening to an op running against a Morsus Mihi station system. The FC had gotten a warp in spot for our pilots to engage several large bubbles placed around one of the gates. As he made the call for the DPS, our eyes on the hostile fleet called out that several enemy ships had left their position and were warping to the gate where our FC was.
Calls of TS spies were immediate, people were making screen shots of everyone in channel, suggestions to “kick all those not in gang!!” were made. Was this a Morsus Mihi spy relaying critical information?
No, it was a case of the station being in-line to the other gate, and Morsus Mihi pilots docking up to log off for the night after playing around with our cloaking gang for a few hours. There was no spy! Just terrible paranoia.
Why is everyone so paranoid about spies and metagaming?
The above is from a Morsus Mihi POS in WH-JCA where Greate Bob Community (GBC) forces used the forcefield password to spend some quality time with their combatants. Examples of this kind of behavior are common place and are not limited to the GBC. During the height of hostilities of Triumvirate’s assault on Vale, Morsus Mihi used a POS password to DoomsDay a Triumvirate fleet, a favor paid back to them a few days later.
Spying has become commonplace as the scale of conflicts within New Eden has grown to encompass thousands of players. When the numbers involved are as large as they are, it’s relatively easy to slip a spy into another alliance.
The problem is when you start to see spies around every corner, when every move that your enemy makes in response to your tactics can only be explained through spying rather than proper tactics. Every loss is the fault of spying, rather than a fairly fought battle.
There are three basic types of metagaming:
TeamSpeak spying can be done in a number of ways depending on the sophistication of the spy.
- TeamSpeak spies
- Forum spies
How many logged in? If you are able to login to a hostile TeamSpeak for a second and get a look at the number of people logged in you can gain a tactical advantage. If there is a POS coming out of reinforced and you login to the hostile TS and see 300 people logged in you know they are going to defend the POS. If you login and see a “normal” smattering of people in different channels you can feel secure that the enemy has nothing planned.
This type of spying is not very intrusive, yet offers great tactical information and is probably the most common type of spying done in Eve.
If you have someone actually on the hostile TS passing on live tactical information this can of course be of great assistance in determining when and where you engage in fleet combat. This seems to be most used in avoiding enemy Doomsdays, although I would argue traditional intelligence is more effective in avoiding enemy titans.
Piping in the enemy TeamSpeak into your own TeamSpeak is also of some use, as you are able to determine in real time exactly what is going on rather than having some “spy” feed you information as they see fit.
Forum spying is extremely common in Eve where pilots often share their forum access with friends who pass on valuable tid-bits of information. Our good friend Kugutsumen from T-20 fame has recently been publishing numerous private forum goodies. [Well, at least Wes’ good friend. The Tribune doesn’t take an official position on Kug, but we would advise anybody who clicks on that link to be very careful not to give out any information on that site, which is good because it no longer requires registration –Ed]
No side has been safe from his exploits, which has offered those on all sides of the conflict a glimpse into the inner workings of various corps and alliances within Eve. No one likes to have their dirty laundry exposed to the masses, but we love reading it!
The most dangerous and useful of the metagaming techniques is the one that takes the most time, patience and effort. That is the use of moles, people who join alliances with the sole intent of doing damage to said alliance. Moles can do so for their own gain, but often do so as part of hostilities either current or future between two opposing forces (even friendly forces put moles into each other camps).
Rumors have it that moles have even reached the point within some alliances where they manage to FC their target alliance fleets. Moles are the biggest threat to an alliance as they can literally spell their downfall. Moles open the doors to all types of metagaming, plus they are able to do a lot of harm to the morale of an alliance. Once the morale of an alliance is broken, failure cascade is sure to follow.
The line between what is acceptable metagaming and what is not is often blurred. Is it still part of the game? Or have we crossed into real life? These are tough questions which each alliance needs to answer for themselves. It is clear that for an alliance to survive and thrive in today’s New Eden they need to be able to work around metagaming, and not become paralyzed by the idea that the enemy maybe listening in.
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