Sunday, 12 July 2015

Corp AFK Policy

I have a rule for new recruits which I think is rather fair - if you join the corporation you have 2 weeks to get your shit into the hole, get your siggy and comms sorted out, get involved in the corporation business, get to now people and help the corporation get fights, ISK, prestige-swelling e-peen, whatever. If you do none of that, you are summarily ejected.

I have taken the position after several years of experience with new recruits failing to make a dent on the corporation, and although i haven't logged the precise numbers or dates against the names, the pattern of failed recruits follows a couple of trajectories.

A fair few join up, and do absolutely nothing. I really wonder about this - most people ask questions of me around the subject of how active we are in a given timezone. They tell a tale of leaving corporations for boredom, lack of things to do, lack of people to play with, or so on. So, I wonder about someone who joins up and does absolutely nothing at all. Were you past corporations also full of this sought-for but never embraced activity you desire in others but never show yourself? Whose fault is it you can't find the content you want? Yours, or your corporations?

Some turn up, log in to comms, say a few words, get a few ships in, sit in POS or maybe do a wee bit of scanning for a few days....then sign out and never come back. I then have to remove their roles, haul their ships out to highsec, contract them back to the person and hope they sign in within 2 weeks to accept the contract. This goes some ways towards explaining why my assets tab is clogged with 325 individual systems full of ships and modules. I have the assets of no less than 60-ish people or more strung throughout New Eden - awaiting their eventual return to game, where they'll get it all returned to them. Some from 4 years ago. I mean, maybe at some point it's kosher to just take it and liquidate it, but I don't get time, and I don't steal people's shit.

A few are probably trying to spy on our comms, or get a mle into our Siggy. You can never tell sometimes, and it's a risk. In this case, dumpstering the toon after an initial 2 weeks of inactivity is wise and a sound security precaution. Again, it is unbelievable to me that you will go through a full API check, an interview, discuss with me specifically how you are prepared for w-space, that it takes work, probing, effort, etc, and then not sign in at all. Sorry. I'm dumping your toon from corp.

A couple don't read the bulletins or welcome mail. I know it's hard to understand for some people, coming from a highsec mission corp or a less organised corp with less history, less institutional knowledge, that corporations can use the Corp Tab and all it's (often, admittedly, shit) functionality. This alsoextends to the welcome mail, many corps don't even have anything in the mail at all, let alone vitally important information including the admonition against joining and going AFK. So, a few got caught out thinking it was cool to hitch their beaten up AFK box trailer with flat tyres to the hotrod of excitement which is Sudden Buggery, and go AFK for 2+ weeks instantly. They come back, get bounced from our POS and sometimes die horribly (it's nasty, seriously) and then come on comms bitching and asking to be let back in. Others just send dirty mails all offended and affronted. I have to remind them of the corp AFK policies.

The reality is that being in a corporation in EVE is a choice.

Some corporations are run by a very small group of friends for their own economic purposes; these are non-recruiting, long-term stable and generally PVE focused. Quite a few exist in wormholes with <30 toons. They tend to go fine until an eviction happens, and then it all falls apart. If you choose a corp of friends alone with no sanctions against inactivity, you shouldn't expect to have someone defend your shit in-game in your absence.

Other corporations are run by personalities who promise the world and drive the edifice forward via sheer chutzah and bullshit. The Pell Helixes of the world.They work on momentum - when it's rolling forward and growing constantly and the leader sounds like he knows what he's doing a bubble of mythological charisma develops, carrying people aloft. The edifice crashed the instant the leader can't juggle the balls anymore. it also carries on with a sort of tobogganistic momentum when the majority of the player group goes AFK - you can still recruit into a zombie corp with 500 members because it looks big, and then the new nerds arrive and no one is around, and it looks fake.

These zombie corps persist because of the bouncy castle factor: it looks like a castle, but it's just full of hot air. Some of these zombie corps still have decent killboards, but nowhere near what you'd expect from 370+ hardcore elite gamers. That's because there aren't 370-odd elite gamer nerds, it's only 10 of them. So of course if you join it's all false advertising, and you might go AFK.

Then there's the real peak PVP corps, and these do trim excess fat, idle layabouts, non-performers and the AFK. You get 300 members worth of PVP out of these 300 member corporations. Quaserknocks Socialbears (QEX, LZHX, HK, SSC, COF, BAERS). If you don't want to be a part of these entities, you shouldn't expect Quazerknocks Socialbears levels of activity; likewise you will be expected to pull your weight or you get ejected.

Therefore it's ironic when people join Sudden Buggery (now about 60 members, down from 98) and send me mails accusing us of being too inactive for them when they, themselves, have not signed onto comms once in 3 weeks, haven't got into Siggy, haven't probed a single wormhole, been online for more than 5 minutes (hint, retards, I can tell due to member list functionality)  or got a single kill, not even a morale TP whore onto a barge kill. mate, you have the balls to accuse us of not suiting your activity expectations? it's a mutual obligation here, a two-way street. 

The difficulty for a recruit who wants activity but cannot provide it himself is that wormhole PVp exists only because everyone is active. There's currently a bad feedback loop of poor inactivity, which drives less people being in chain, which results in less interactions and makes things more boring. This is coupled with the general population malaise of EVE. But in no way does it excuse new recruits from getting involved - at its most basic, if you join a corporation you are saying you are keen to get involved, explicitly or implicitly. Going instantly AFK is telling me, your CEO, to go fuck himself, but thanks for the effort wasted on the recruitment.

Recruitment: two steps forward, seven steps back.


  1. I think about wormholes and how cool it would be to hang out corps like yours as well sometimes.

    My idea would be to see if there's a public chat available and hang out there, ask to see if it's possible to join on a roam, maybe ask for an entrance and stuff.

    Then if things feel right for both sides we can see about getting serious and putting in an application.

  2. "Some from 4 years ago. I mean, maybe at some point it's kosher to just take it and liquidate it, but I don't get time, and I don't steal people's shit."

    Being of very much the same opinion .. let me introduce you to the Security Officer role.

    When people go AFK, I wait till there is a decent highsec, ship their stuff out to a station, rent an office (it's cheap unless it's a tradehub), put everything into their personal hangar. Take a screenshot of their hangar with a station name visible and mail it to them copying one other person in leadership.

    Essentially it's minimal levels of work over and above shipping their stuff out anyway - and the rental fee is usually a couple of million - just remember to unrent afterwards.

  3. Another comment; after doing recruitment for a bit, I'd say that a few number of people change corp as a kind of last ditch attempt to stay interested in eve. Which is why they are all interested until it actually gets to doing stuff with the corp - whereupon all the reasons why they have decided eve sucks re-assert themselves.


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