Does Gate-Camping Add Value To EVE?

I’m a new player and have been paying attention to a lot of the good and particularly the bad experiences people have been talking about here in the forums and in the game, and whenever people describe the negative experiences they’ve had someone just says “this is what you signed up for, deal with it.” This can be an extremely valid point in some cases, as advanced conflict and deception are core strategy elements that make EVE so exciting, but it is also clearly used as a catch-all to prevent constructive criticism of the game. The difference lies in whether or not a violent mechanic adds real value and complexity to the game without being completely unfair and pointless.

The one thing which everyone complains about and which, to me, seems to fall totally in the latter category, is gate-camping. Resources exist to track areas being gate-camped, but the information is often incomplete and at a delay. The default response here has been that creating alternate accounts as scouts to multibox with is now a de facto requirement. Anyone who complains about gate-camping just needs to make a scouting alt, and that’s as far as the conversation is allowed to go on the topic.

My question is: from a gameplay perspective, is this worth it? Do people who gate-camp utilize genuine strategy and skill to reap real rewards, or do they just sit there waiting for someone to inevitably warp in? While EVE is undeniably a slow game in terms of skill development and a steep learning curve, is the point of the game to simply wait and wait and wait until a helpless person is instantly killed? Should multiboxing really be a de facto requirement for the game?

I don’t want to definitively answer these questions because I’m so new, and I’ve never participated in a gate-camp, but this seems to be the one major aspect of the game that from an outsider’s perspective seems to require little skill and which is virtually impossible to fight except by creating a scout, which in my experience has not been adequately described in the tutorial or in CCP’s website as the apparently absolutely necessary requirement to surviving in New Eden. If the answer to any of those questions is no, maybe we need to put aside our generic “this is what you signed up for” remarks and ask if this phenomenon really adds more value to the game than it takes away.

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Any activity that generates tears adds value to EVE…

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If you were unable to camp a gate, how would you enforce that? and also where would player interaction be ok? eventually camping a wormhole entrance would be too much for you to bear or perhaps station camps should be disallowed. Try some pvp and then come back with some answers

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You’ll find that in any PvP game there are areas and corners to be found, which give an advantage to one side. This can be a narrow passage, farming at spawn points, shooting downhill, … you name it.

Gate camps are simply that.

They provide a strategic advantage. However, when you think about it, it’s not even a real advantage. You only don’t see beyond the gate and you only don’t know what’s on the other side, which goes for both sides. Thus can gate campers get easily overrun by a fleet that’s just running through.

So gate camps are really just a disadvantage for those who fly solo through it. And flying solo is practically everywhere a disadvantage. Therefore the value of a gate camp could be said to be a quick lesson, which you can make as a solo pilot, without having to fly too far into hostile territory. It can safe the solo pilot time in fact.

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Here is some perspective you may not have as a new player. In general Eve is one of the few mmos that takes the multiplayer bit to heart. In most games I.e. wow etc, you can play solo to little real detriment, even to the point of casual raids and complete enjoyment and entitlement to nearly every content piece created. In Eve, you are highly discouraged from solo; at every turn the game will push you to interact. Eve is literally Everyone v. Everyone.

To that end, Eve also rewards the control and seizure of information and intelligence. One easy factor is to increase the Intel you know by joining with other pilots. This same tendency is well rewarded by flying your own alts. So, in many respects, the default assumption is that you will make friends as you adapt, or failing that, make your own friends (alts).

Just as one person camping is not usually super effective in the long term and gets better with friends, so too does scouting and nearly every aspect of the game. Playing eve entirely without friends is hard mode and the game will let you,do it so long as you accept that the game is balances for people to group together. The number one core of eve is that it is a social game.
You can do a lot solo, but you will always do better with more pilots.

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As far as scouting or having an alt account, that goes for other areas of the game besides gate camps. Don’t want your freighter ganked? Use a scout/web alt, etc…

These mechanics have been in the game since day 1, and have been for 15 years, yet EVE keeps ticking right along…

not really. A cloaky ship on the other side of the gate is 100% safe and gives free intel.
Plus, cloaked sabre in the system can simply decloak and activate bubble when needed.

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So? Still works for both sides. What’s your point? Gates are symmetrical in design. What counts for one side counts for the other, too.

I think of Eve as a bit like real life; there are things like gate-camping that are just a fact of life that you have to learn to deal with.

I’m a solo player, single account. Two characters, but they are never in the same place. I haul or explore all over 9 regions, mostly in high-sec, but I routinely dip into low-sec.

I find that it’s pretty easy to avoid gate camps, no alts or escorts needed. Any time you’re thinking of going into low-sec, check it out on the map. Only go in if it’s quiet.

Also, think about what it’s like for the campers — hours of sitting around hoping someone will come through the gate. I understand it’s a social thing for them, but it sounds pretty boring to me.

Also, atttitude helps. One of the most exciting 10 minutes of my EVE life was when I flew into a gate camp as an Alpha, in a Probe. I survived the camp because a freighter went through seconds before, so the campers were busy with him. But they spared a few ships to hunt me down. I died in the next system over, smartbombed at the exit gate into high-sec.

So I don’t exactly LIKE gate camps, but they have given me some good stories. :grinning:

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You make it seem like gate camping is some sort of phenomenon unique to EVE. A gate is nothing more than a choke point. It’s a corridor you have to travel down to get to the next room. People camp such points in any FPS I’ve ever played.

In a survival game, won’t a group camp a choke point to protect itself or kill those who pass?

Heck, where do you put the guards to a castle? At the gates or in the middle? An EVE gate isn’t much different.

A gate camp is simply people setting up to defend anyone entering into the camp’s territory. This could be space they actually control amd have SOV over or just some low sec spot they can claim. I don’t think It’s a game play mechanic you can get around, it is simply how a game like eve or many others is played.

As for skill, a gate camp does take skill. Figuring out how to catch certain ships, when to run from a fight, how to survive and won during an equal fight, it all takes skill. Yes, it may be a slaughter if you are one and they are many, but this is a multiplayer game. The camp isn’t expecting one. They a2rw expecting to get as many kills as they can before a bigger fleet comes along, and there usually is a bigger fleet that will come along. So there is skill there. You may not see as much skill demonstrated if you land solo in a camp, but again, you are an incidental target, not the big fight they want or hope to get, nor the big fight they are really worries about.

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Op. where are you finding the gate camp in question?
Could be you entered someone’s space and they were merely defending it.

@Whitehound, @heretoplayeve, @Piotr_Leusten, and @Lady_Ayeipsia:
You all make really good points. I wonder if a majority of the people who quit and come to the forums to talk about gate-camping are solo players.

@jemmi:
I’m not talking as much from experience as from reading through at least a dozen conversations here and elsewhere all of which cite gate-camping as a primary frustration in the game, leading many of them to ultimately quit.

As someone just joining while CCP is doubling down on its efforts to make solo playing theoretically more interesting and viable (like the Abyssal Deadspace update), I think there’s definitely a bit of cognitive dissonance between how the game is explained by the developers and how it ends up playing out in reality. But maybe that’s just the nature of a game that is so complicated and is trying to go in so many directions at the same time.

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I always found deaths from gate camps very arbitrary. You can jump from one system to another, and without warning, find yourself dead in a few seconds.

Having said that, there are ways of passing gate camps, even as a solo player (cloaky ship, insta-warping fits, jump clones, wormholes, backdoor routes). TBH, even as a lowsec denizen, I’ll only fall prey to a gatecamp perhaps 2-3 times a year.

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I thought it was fun when ever we set up a gate camp… who ever I was flying with. It usually involved tons of jokes and laughs unless you are lazyhacks, they critisize everything to a T… just depends on who you fly with I think, GOTG was super relaxed when it wasnt a serious op, Neg Density was chilled too, usually talked philosophy or real ■■■■ too…

Its always, about the man sitting next to you.

People attract like people. like energy attracts. pretty much self explanatory.

Is that value being added to the game or community, Yes. I believe so.

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As a solo player…

I am ok with GateCamping. But then again as a predator in EVE so I am ok with most things that make other things go boom. The only people that might have an issue with gate camping are indy/pve players.

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Since you cannot catch people mid warp, the only possible way to catch someone flying something valuable through “your” space (for example, that low sec system you live in which you actively try to keep others out of) is to catch them on gates. As such, gate camps are absolutely necessary.

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When you boil it down, the complaint about gate camping really is one about the fact that Eve features “non-consensual” PvP as a core mechanic.

In an open-world PvP game, there needs to be ways to force fights. Otherwise, the side at a disadvantage - and there usually is one in an unbalanced open universe game - will never take a fight and you will have next-to-no content, just constant evasion. There are actually precious few places and mechanics where one can actually force a fight in this game, but the choke point of gates is (intentionally) one of them. Obviously, some people won’t like being forced to take a fight they aren’t prepared for or one where they are outgunned, but it is absolutely necessary that it can happen.

We can debate whether the mechanics around spawning at gate are perfectly balanced, but it seems to me it is at least in the ballpark. People run through gate camps all the time (or go around them) and it takes less effort/time to do so than the campers spend setting up their ambush. There is plenty of gameplay around that interaction and room for player actions to influence the outcome of that interaction.

I think though that having a choke point to focus players and this player interaction, and more interestingly the ability to control travel in space with violence, adds something to the game. Yes, it can be frustrating to lose a ship when you don’t want to, but that is Eve and there is nothing stopping you from going back to that gate with something to counter the campers and getting your revenge.

Eve is interesting because when you undock, you are open to attack anywhere. You’ll have a much better time if you fully embrace that than shedding salt over the fact the game makes you a prey item on purpose. Remember, it does that to all of us.

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I believe the OP has one good point: Having to use a scouting alt not only adds no value to the game, it fundamentally breaks the game on more than one level, and just adds tedium for no good reason.

I believe the best solution is simply to be able to see beyond gates. This could be done any number of ways - for instance a ‘button’ you press on the gate which shows you the scene on the other side. There’s no reason lore-wise why you wouldn’t expect this to exist in a civilization with jump gate technology, and regarding gameplay this dispenses with the asinine notion of a scouting alt, with all the associated tedium, wasting of time and resources, etc.

People would still be free to camp gates, and attempt to deny access to the space on the other side. People would still be free to jump through the gate. “Content” could still happen. And the game would be made better as a result of this change.

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If such a thing was implemented, it would need to cost both time and ISK, and probably warn a ship on the other side it was being used to prevent it from being yet just another evasion tool and buff to player safety.

I get that the current mechanics do put a strong emphasis on scouts and thus friends or another account, but that is true of many of the game mechanics. Solo players are vulnerable to almost any group hunting them, so I don’t think there is anything special about gate camping disadvantaging them. That said, there are ships and fits that a solo player can use to breeze through most gate camps with ease.

To me it seems a non-problem, only an issue for new players and the completely careless, who are the ones that deserve to explode (not the new players - they are learning - but the ones who should know better). I don’t see CCP changing it fundamentally any time soon.

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I don’t object to the social aspect, friends, whatever. If it’s a social game, it’s a social game. But the thing is, having alts actually violates this, i.e. it’s a cheat. If you are using an alt to scout with, you are getting around 1) playing with a group, or 2) taking a risk as a solo player. Then you get to the tedium of everyone (well, non-noobs) using them as a matter of course. So then it’s a tedium thing, like constantly whacking dscan (a tool that should be automated).

Probably the best thing would be to somehow remove alts, but I don’t see how that is possible.

Don’t get me wrong - I have some mixed thoughts. I think having ‘blind gates,’ especially those going to low or null sec, provides some aspect of wonder, danger, risk, etc. and adds an element to the game. But the tools most people use to solve the problem (scouting alts) just aren’t conducive to good gameplay.

I don’t really know the solution, but I threw one potential one out there, anyway :stuck_out_tongue:

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