The purpose of this article is to give a little insight on the blue doughnut, and some of the interesting anomalies that have been occurring because of it. Hopefully, with my background as a CEO in the North, I can give a unique perspective.
The Blue Doughnut
If you’ve ever been on r/eve, you’ve probably encountered numerous people talking about a mighty blue pastry that sucks the life out of EVE Online. One that is so delicious that everybody eventually succumbs and takes a bite out of it. For a while now, I’ve been wanting to write about this from the perspective of a CEO in the blue doughnut. Krypted Gaming is a proud member of SLYCE, a key member of GOTG. This is purely for background, we’re not going to be talking about GOTG today.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the interesting anomalies that I’ve seen over the past year and a half in a supercoalition. From numerous corporations dying after joining the blue doughnut, to the massive difficulty for small gang FCs. Also, a few ways that we can help make the game a little more fun again.
Keep in mind, it’s like this everywhere. This is not specific to a single coalition. Nor is this article towards a specific coalition or group of players.
How did this happen?
There are two things that drive humans: fear and greed.
The desire for wealth is very strong in EVE Online, and one of the key motivations for many players in the game. From spodheads to super ratters, just take a trip to any nullsec region and view the force of greed.
Fear is something interesting that video games make you feel, whether it’s a gunshot across your ear in PUBG or losing your largest ships in EVE Online. These games really have a way to make us feel pain after losses, causing us to band together and find the most efficient way to do things. The desire for safety is one of the key elements of nullsec, encouraging these large alliances to band together so that nobody can cross them.
This is equivalent to real life behavior. EVE Online is a game with real loss. What happens when humans are faced with real loss? They band together to overcome the odds.
How does it affect the game?
In this section, I’ll be introducing some of the ways that the blue doughnut is affecting the game. For most of you, you could probably skip this section to where I talk about dying corporations and other anomalies. However, for all you funbois in lowsec and highsec, you might need a little context.
With nearly half of the game blue, it’s becoming very difficult to find content if you’re a smaller group. Before all of the keyboard warriors say, “GET GUD, BARE”, keep in mind difficult doesn’t mean impossible.
From my experience, our corporation gangs are around 10-15 players, and we typically run into blobbing issues due to only being able to roam in the space of large entities like Goonswarm Federation (we’re blue in 4 regions each direction).
Small shout-out to the wormhole community, without you guys, we would probably be bored to tears every night.
Making ISK ridiculously safe now, raising the average wallet size across the board. When you can spin up 3-5 alts in a Vexor Navy Issue and literally AFK for 1-2B per day, how could you be poor?
With the introduction of Rorquals, nearly every nullsec player has a capital at this point. It’s honestly pretty crazy how many capitals a corporation can build up with the safety of being in a large coalition. In our first 6 months, we went from 0 capitals to ~50 in Krypted Gaming.
This really shifts the meta, from what I’ve seen. I’m no powerbloc FC, but dropping has become extremely common, and really cuts down the content that roams through your space. Why would anybody bring a small gang through your space when they’re instantly met with 10 carriers?
Shifting gang sizes
Gang sizes have been exploding in the past year, forcing people to take more and more players to a roam. The typical size for gangs roaming to other regions (this is seen across all coalitions) are reaching numbers of 30-50.
How can you blame them? They’re going to end up fighting carriers, anyway.
This raises the bar for corporations, meaning that they’re going to need to bring some serious numbers just for an ordinary roam.
State of Mind
Why is the blue doughnut so expansive? Because everybody and their mother keeps joining them. It’s starting to gobble up the galaxy, mostly due to one reason: it’s becoming impossible to function without them in nullsec, unless you have a narrative.
Where else are you going to be able to freely mine in your Rorquals? Everybody is consumed by fear and greed, even me!
How does this affect the players?
There are a lot of interesting ways that The Blue Doughnut has affected players and corporations.
- Numerous dying corporations
- Increased boredom causing lowered activity in certain areas
- The rise of botting culture
Corporations are Dying
There are a lot of communities dying in the blue doughnut, mostly due to their failure to create a unique identity that separates them from the hive-mind of a coalition. As a CEO, I can tell you that it’s very easy to allow your corporation to become just another pawn of a coalition. Why would you run corporation-only fleets when there are 10+ coalition roams a day?
Over the past year, I’ve watched over 10 corporations slowly die out and collapse/merge because of their failure to adapt. It really is fun to watch the domino effect of this, especially when two corporations end up merging, and then that one ends up running into the same issue, and merging with another. Eventually you end up with a mega-corp of 300 members with only 10 of them logging in.
In the blue doughnut, you have to adapt. You have to explore new areas of the game, you have to create fun for your members. Otherwise, you’re going to end up an empty shell.
All of you have seen it. People shifting to AFK ratting and Rorqual Mining, playing League of Legends or Stellaris on the other screen.
Of course, this isn’t just the effect of the blue doughnut, we all know that the game has questionable areas of content, but that’s for another poorly-written article.
For nullsec players, however, the blue doughnut is slowly turning them into mindless entities that just log in when a MAX-FORM-KEEPSTAR-KILL is pinged out. It really is depressing to watch people not wanting to log in for unique things like good fights with wormholers. They just want to log into their carrier and jump.
There are many causes of botting, but one can argue that the blue doughnut has drained all of the fun out of making ISK. In Krypted Gaming, we live in a pretty hot area, meaning a lot of traffic tackling our miners and ratters. This is fun, because we can form up and undock to create some content for roamers.
However, for some areas of the game, there are literally no roamers. Try ratting in botlands, there’s literally no traffic.
How does it improve?
I don’t really have an answer here, the game seems to naturally shift from powerbloc phase for a couple of years, before things break up again.
However, I think we can all do our part to make the game a little bit more fun.
- Make individual efforts to explore new areas of the game
- Focus on gudfites instead of a digit on a battle report
- Stop defaulting to carriers for a small gang trying to give you content
Hopefully this gave you guys a little insight. If you’re looking for content, feel free to drop me a line in-game!