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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Habits of the Genus Homo Goonus

The war is over! Mabrick Mining and Manufacturing has no cross hairs trained on our corporate logo. I suppose I should take this opportunity to make a Jita run... or not.

Regardless, there are a couple of "things" to take away from this whole experience. They're not awe inspiring things but perhaps they will be thought provoking.
  1. Just because you have war brought against you is no reason to hide or rage quit. That's ludicrous. This is a sandbox, a very large one. Explore it! War is an excuse for a carebear to to stop caring about the bottom line, buy a few ships with your hard earned profit and have a little fun. Don't waste it: embrace it!
  2. If the Goons declare war against you, just remember this: they can't be everywhere at once. You have nothing to fear but fear itself. Just stay paranoid and move cautiously.You can still carebear. Just practice safe habits.
    1. Don't fly what you can't afford to lose.
    2. Put a tank on your damn ship for god sake.
    3. Stay aligned at all times.
    4. Dock if things make you too nervous - stay paranoid.
    5. Make some fast un-dock locations so you can get out again.
    6. Make some safe spots were you can hang out for awhile (preferably cloaked.)
And about that habit thing, I'm reading a fascinating book right now titled The Power of Habit. The take away from that book for this last event is this: all large organizations have habits. What are the Genus Homo Goonus' habits? They are there, believe me. We all have them. That includes you whether you realize it or not. The key is knowing what those habits are and using that knowledge constructively.

To wit, all habits take the from of a cue, a response and a reward. This is the habit cycle. For the Goons one could say the reward is a good fight. Or, you could say it is juicy tears. Or, you could say it is fame/infamy. Those would all be wrong. It has to be something everyone within Goons shares or the alliance wouldn't exist at all. So what is it? Let's analyze the cue and it'll give us the answer we seek. 

When does Homo Goonus act out? When are they the most Goon like? Others have mentioned this so it isn't too hard to figure. When they get bored. The cue for the Homo Goonus habit cycle is plain boredom. They have to do something about it. Simple uh? Cues don't have to be elaborate at all.

So, what is the reward? That's right, the elimination of boredom! See, it really is simple. And what are the responses that get Homo Goonus from cue to reward? Right again! Burn Jita, Hulkageddon and declaring war on high-sec carebears are all responses to the cue of boredom intended to bring about the reward or, in this case, the end of boredom.

Now that's the easy stuff to figure out. There is one more aspect of habit and it is all important. Habits need  this to keep the habit circle intact. You see, we go through this cue, response and reward cycle over an over. What brings us back to cue from reward?

Well, it could be that the reward we wanted didn't happen. That is not what happened with the high-sec wars though. Homo Goonus got the good fight and even some juicy tears. It was not boring for them I think even if it didn't go down the way they anticipated. And having a reward thwarted is especially dangerous to organizations but more on this in a moment. So what is it that bring habits full circle?

The last piece of the habit circle is craving. Craving is the engine that drives the habit circle from reward back to cue so it can happen all over again. When this craving is unhealthy we call it addiction. It is a fine line. But it has to be there. If it is not there, a habit can never form.

So what is the craving that drives Homo Goonus' habit? An interesting aspect of craving when it comes to large organizations is that it only has to reside with one person - the organization's leader - the Head Coach - the Dean - the CEO. In this instance, I believe the craving is for power: power over Homo Goonus; power over New Eden; perhaps even power over CCP itself. And because a single person's craving drives the habit cycle of many, it is up to that person to direct the cycle and engineer the responses that bring cue to reward.

But there is danger in that. If the response fails to bring reward, the cycle will break. At that point, Homo Goonus must find a way to reestablish it or shatter. It has to. That is the nature of habit. And Homo Goonus will do whatever it must to make the circle whole again - even if that means finding a new engine for the cycle. When craving resides in a single leader, that means a change in leadership.

I am certain The Mittani knows this at some level. That has to be a sobering realization - or one to get drunk over perhaps. That is why the Delve campaign is suddenly Homo Goonus' - that's right - new response. If The Mittani doesn't keep giving them collective responses... boom go the Goons.

But beware! This is perhaps an unwinnable situation for The Mittani. If all his engineered responses succeed, and they quell all opposition, wouldn't that bring Pax Goonus? What then would Homo Goonus do when cued by boredom? Boom go the Goons.

Fly careful.


  1. 1. Coming up with your own terminology for the goons.
    2. Analyzing the strange social patterns of the goons.
    3. Advocating ways to disrupt the social structures of the goons.

    Replace 'goons' with 'pubbies' in the above logical structure, and you'd be Mittens.

    The victor in this war was obviously the goons, without ever having to track you down and fight you ingame, they've managed to lure you into their headspace-- via manipulation requiring almost no effort on their part. kudos to them, I guess.

    1. Why would analyzing people be something to be avoided? Sure, goons are annoying, but I only dislike them because I need something to keep me interested in eve (long term). So I'm just like the goons (and everyone else).

      This is eve. The whole point is to win. That's the whole point in life too. However, just like life, you probably aren't ever going to 'win' eve.

    2. @Kurt - you might have a point if I didn't already do this with just about everyone with whom I interact. The Goons got no special treatment from me. I use them because they are the blog fodder du jour and my readership spikes whenever I use their name. I'm not too proud to admit I like that. But your assumption that they "lured" me into anything is specious.

    3. Nice spin, but the Goons' goal was to convince Mabrick to stop writing anything about the Goons in general, and The Mittani in particular, that isn't flattering. Looks like they failed.

    4. @Zenver: Why do you think I advocate avoiding analyzing people? This isn't a logical structure of "hey, you screwed up 1! 2! 3! times!" This was 'combine each and every one of the actions 1,2,3, and that behavior pattern is quite similar to that which you disparage.' You pointing out and focusing on only 1 of the 3 points, and then making a moral argument about it, is irrelevant. If you have a technical issue with a singular point, fine. But if you want to make a moral argument, you have to take the entire argument as a whole to be coherent.

      @noizy: Your arguments do not convince me that this was indeed their goal. This is largely because you didn't make any such arguments.

      @Mabrick: I'm an eve newbie, so if you wrote articles similar to this more than a few months back targeted at someone other than the goons, good chance I haven't seen them. Care to link the best such example?

    5. "When does Homo Goonus act out? When are they the most Goon like? Others have mentioned this so it isn't too hard to figure. When they get bored. The cue for the Homo Goonus habit cycle is plain boredom. They have to do something about it. Simple uh? Cues don't have to be elaborate at all."
      Mr. Mabrick, you hit the nail on the head with that.

      No one was trying to silence you. I can promise you that. Noizygamer and Mord Fiddle are convinced we're trying to silence people.
      We're trying to give people an alternative view of eve.

      Take for example these two carebears who are now camping Deklein:
      They suffered a few losses, but now they are in VFK in stealth bombers, and hitting random morons who aren't scouting themselves. This is fantastic. No one covered our invitation for them to come out to deklein and tour the sights of nullsec, but these guys are enjoying a different style of gameplay now. They had been missioning/freightering/mining. Now they are trying to murder someone in space, and they're having fun. That's what goonswarm is all about.

  2. I suspect someone just forgot to pay the bills. Anyone know if all the other Goon high sec wars also ended?

  3. They took my POS. They got no tears though. Just a bunch of a-holes.

    Their methods are not a reaction to boredom.

    They are a reaction to their own inner hatereds or 'God only knows what". They care not for EVE or who leaves the game. If CCP were to fold for their actions, that's fine with them. They would just move over to Minecraft.

    Boredom ? Get real.

  4. Eve. Came for the spaceships, stayed for the drama. (even if it makes me sick at times)

  5. One side note: "staying aligned" doesn't actually do anything for you if your speed is zero. If you can stay aligned at 3/4 velocity, then you can instawarp. If you stay aligned with some nonzero speed less than 3/4 velocity, it cuts down on your warping time. But if you're mining, that's probably impractical; you probably have to be sitting still. Once you're sitting still, it doesn't matter which direction you're pointing; it takes the same amount of time to get up to warp speed whether you do it straight or have to turn while doing it.

    (You can run experiments to convince yourself that this is true.)

    There is a more advanced way to do it. If you're mining, you could find a couple of celestials or (ideally) stations that are in such a direction that you could be aligned at 3/4 of max speed towards that station and moving along a line where, for some decent distance, there are roids the whole way. If you find two of them in opposite directions, then you can just go back and forth, always aligned to one or the other station, and always switching your mining lasers to whatever rocks are passing by. Might be rather hard on your cap, though, if you can't do complete cycles of the mining lasers.

    1. @ezrvinh: I'm afraid your first paragraph is not correct. Large ships have inertia (try an Orca and you'll see what I mean.) When they start to turn for an align, their speed is reduced by this inertia. If you are already moving but in the wrong direction, your speed may actually stop and it will certainly drop. The point of aligning, even if you are sitting still, is to reduce the inertia effect. Also, there is an old trick when you don't have a warp disrupter that works particularly well against unaligned ships. Simply run into them and knock them off alignment. If you are already aligned and accelerating, this is not as effective (though it still may work.) It's a matter of microseconds for certain, but microseconds can make all the difference. Don't give up any advantage.

    2. I'm pretty sure that he's correct about the alignment. Eve treats your ship as 'pointing nowhere' when you're sitting still. The only reason it seems like it takes a long time for you to 'turn' around, is just graphics candy. (because it wouldn't make much sense for your ship to instantly turn around, despite what your velocity vector might be saying)

    3. If i remember correctly, on the server your ship's speed and direction is stored as a vector.
      I don't know if physics only applies to the visual modell, but after you hit the warp button, that vector will point in the direction of the warp instantly, and it will grow as your speed increases, it doesn't require your ship's modell to be perfectly aligned, just the speed to be 2/3rd.
      That is why you can see sometimes ships arriving sideways after a warp.

  6. I think your analysis is very likely correct if you look at the GSF history. The last time they 'won' - after BoB finally collapsed - the Goons became sort-of aimless and eventually lost all their space because the SOV bills were not paid. Then Mittani took the reins and gave them a new perspective and new wars to fight, but indeed, what if they win?

  7. Wow, thx for this Blog Mabrick! Following your Habit link i have read the articles, and already bought the book!:) So thx for showing it to us!


Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.