The Sadly Misunderstood Blob

Poor Blob. Such a horrible word that has so often been attached to really horrible ideas. A truly slow moving horror, a truly fat super-villain, cartoon bad-guys, and a long list of equally disturbing images. The Blob is a shapeless, amoral conglomerate of snot, typically up to no good.

All of which it deserves. Lets be honest here, no one stands for The Blob. It is deservedly un-loved, reviled, and considered a bad thing to be avoided. Blob is no fun. Blob is bad. Blob needs to be shunned.

Blob is hard to define, but like most things that are hard to define - we know it when we see it. I don't know what that, that thing in the alleyway is exactly - but I'm pretty goddamn sure its a Blob! Blobs wash up on a beach and we poke it with sticks, no one is gonna touch the darn thing with their hands!! That is just how vile the prospect of a Blob is, we can't even bring ourselves to touch it.

In Eve a Blob is also considered a bad thing. Generally it is perceived as any un-equal application of force that is not associated with a Gate or Station. Because those are called Gate and/or Station Camps. Camps are different than Blobs, camps are fun times with your friends out in the woods. Living in tents, getting infested with Chiggers, and usually developing some kind of annoying rash. Camps are camps. Blobs are not camps. Blobs eat camps for breakfast.

Blobs are all about perception. What one person considers a blob another person considers their Mother's mashed potatoes. Which might be horrible and full of lumps, but that doesn't make them a Blob now, does it? No, a Blob is all about perception. Which makes identifying an actual bonafide Blob rather difficult. Out in the wild, Blobs can be hard to classify.

Not only are Blobs subject to perception, they are also extremely situational. One man's Blob is another man's tasty target. A Dramiel might consider three Frigates a Blob, but a small Cruiser fleet might consider three Frigates fair game. And those self-same Frigates might very well consider that Cruiser gang a Blob. It is all so very confusing.

I do not like confusion, so let me try to bring some rational thought to this discussion. First of all, it is extremely important to realize that the classification of anything as a "Blob" always comes from the loser of an engagement. The winners rarely consider what just happened as a "Blob". To a fault, the accusation and classification comes directly from someone that just lost his ship. They are excited, angry, pissed-off, disappointed in themselves (Mom always said they'd never amount to anything!) and frankly, can't be trusted to make accurate statements at that time. So whatever they say has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Let's try to define a Blob. "A Blob is any application of force which contains elements not necessary to the positive outcome of said application." In other words, three Frigates can be relatively sure of winning a fight against a Dramiel, but not assured of winning such a fight. The addition of a Sentinel or a Falcon to that fight assures the Frigates of victory. And such application makes such an attack a Blob. So a Blob becomes any accumulation of force needed to assure victory in an engagement. The victim of a Blob cannot be expected to win. He has to have no chance of winning. Zero chance = Blob.

I avoid all of this by simply never accusing anyone of blobbing me. I get caught with my pants down, so be it. That is on me. I should be a better pilot, smarter than my enemy, more crafty, and better prepared to avoid being slaughtered. I also realize that the "blob" that killed me might have been out looking for bigger prey, in which case they would not be considered a Blob. Only to me, of course. I also know that I will often have ten or so pilots along with me and we attack everything we come across, which can also sometimes be considered a blob. Even though we aren't doing that on purpose.

On purpose. And here it comes, the truth of the matter. While Blobs are situational and rely on a loser's perception, there are times when such a creature is deliberate and purposeful. When there can be no doubt associated with its application. There are those that construct a Blob solely for the intention of assuring victory in a single application of force. Such an assemblage being constructed for one purpose and one purpose only - to avoid risk.

And that my friends is when a spade becomes a spade. That is when you become an amorphous pile of snot, when you purposefully avoid risk by becoming a Blob. Only you might know this about yourself, and that is fine. Because only you have to live with that knowledge.

Character is what you are in the dark.



16 comments:

  1. A good discussion on the Blob. Not entirely a 100% alignment with our group, but an entirely reasonable discussion.

    In our gangs (usually 10 or less) we try to avoid engaging single ships (unless you are criminal, then you are entirely fair game in any and all circumstances) unless the ship itself is higher class that our gang. Frigate roam sees single vexor - game on. And when we do thump something where we had anticipated that it was bait, but turns out was a relative innocent (can you really be an innocent sitting in a plex ?) that no gang came to spring the trap, well, we say sorry in local. Some of us are Canadian, afterall.

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    1. Well that explains it. We do try and not send everyone in on a lone ship, I try and leave that to those still learning and our younger players. Always tricky though, that lone ship could very well be an extremely skilled pilot. That is, after all, what makes Eve so complex and challenging.

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    2. I don't think that players enjoy being part of a blob either. I mean its fun when you enter a fight and you win, but most players of a certain level feel a tad embarrassed, when six navy comets blast a merlin who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Again, as you correctly pointed out, the difference between having more members in a fight and a blob is the difference between superior firepower and unnecessary overkill

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    3. The only exception is often the skill levels of those involved. I find younger players in training more comfortable in small gangs, and while that might be perceived as a "blob" it really isn't because most of the pilots in that blob suck at pvp. This is where grey areas start to seep into the picture.

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    4. I have found that even with 2 v 1 its a blob. We get shouted at if this happens sometimes in local. Nice blob. it was 2 v 1 and they could have used dscan and got out ages ago...

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  2. Blobbing is about perception, agreed. We have hopes/expectations when we undock, and if getting jumped by superior numbers isn't in those hopes/expectations, we feel less than good about it. Typically I adjust my expectations and undock again.

    The perception factor accounts for how the fog of war interacts with it, too. If both sides think they got blobbed, does that make it a good fight?

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    1. I often enter a fight alone against 6-8 ships and they all run away. In a way, they might be correct in assuming they are the ones being blobbed - even against a solo ship. Depending on their skill level, it is possible for me to slaughter them all. Which does happen. But of course, the idea of one ship being a blob is ludicrous. Isn't it?

      It isn't as silly a question as it seems. And it plays perfectly into what you said about equal sides feeling they have both been blobbed. It really is ALL about perception. And very little about truth. Because who decides what is true and what isn't?

      I know when I've been blobbed. And I know when I haven't. The rest I leave up to someone else to decide.

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    2. Well said.

      No one decides. The truth abides.

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  3. There are two kinds of pvpers in EVE. Those who think it is a 'blob' and those who consider it a 'target rich' environment.

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    1. Yeah, I tried striking one of those "target rich environment" groups a couple days ago. Turned out I didn't really scare anybody and didn't have enough tank or fighting skills to survive 7 T1 frigs shooting at my Hawk. It was fun though, still got one and would have escaped if my tank had lasted just a few more seconds.

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  4. Speaking of blobs, did you see what happened to your good friends the Tuskers in Nisuwa today? I'm betting they're not too fond of Enyos and Scythes right now.

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  5. My definition of a blob is much easier. Any time I have to scroll through the overview to see the entire enemy or allied fleet, it's a blob. Anything smaller than that is not a blob. It's nice, straight forward, and has no wiggle room for perception. It's a straight binary true or false proposition. My reasoning for that isn't just because I have to scroll my overview though, it's also because at around that size is when F1 button monkeys orbiting an anchor come into the picture. The engagement has become so large that not everyone in the fleet can hold the mental picture of it in their mind and therefore cannot be trusted to fly with any sorta sense, so tactics are simplified.

    By my definition two opposing equal forces can both be blobs. With your definition only the side with out sized power in comparison to the other is a blob.

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  6. What if that lone ship is a bait with lots of friends in the next system?

    I say blob it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

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  7. I don't see a BLOB as a thing I see it as an activity i.e. Blobbing.

    As you stated if you have complete and overwhelming force were victory is assured (and by victory I mean your target dies and you suffer minimal losses) then you are Blobbing.

    It is just another tactic to assure victory. How annoyed you get as victim of blobbing however is a very individualistic thing. Me personally I find it flattering if they actively blob me while I'm solo. If I just get caught out by a blob that I have warped in on without checking (I'm lazy at times) then fair enough I mucked up.

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