This is a word for word transcript of a conversation I had yesterday on Earth Space Dock:
Me: Hi C., may I interest you to join with me in our fleet for longterm players? (Asks but does not invite.)
C.: No way in hell.
Me: aw, why?
C.: Because I'm fed up being harassed by fleets wanting me to join them. No thank you. (Immediately places me on ignore).
As I'm writing this, there is a thread in the fleet section from a fleet leader looking to sell his fleet. Meanwhile, in game there are several fleets building multi-fleet fleets. By multi-fleet, I don't mean multi-faction, I mean fleets who have more than one on a faction and are building more. As I'm going to show you, these 3 seperate cases are connected as prime examples of the worst of the fleet community. My words here are lengthy and bound to be controversial, - I can see the trollers at work already - but some things must be said.
It is easy to make a fleet, anyone can do it and then sell it off for ec. Ok, maybe that's not what they originally intended, but not everyone has the fortified determination to endure repetetive sacrifices with little to no support. I too can make fleets, sell them off and remain fleetless or build countless fleets in succession. So what's stopping me? Because:
A as in you'll Answer for the evil you do- Practices that involve selling and buying fleets undermine the basic idea of the STO Fleet system, which is to bring players together for team game enjoyment, which in turn helps the game by keeping players interested and playing.
B as in Buying isn't Building- Players selling and buying fleets are engaged in profiteering. Players with the nerve to endure fleet building for the longterm prefer to start from scratch as opposed to buying their way in. I have seen such players turn down offers to buy and are still building today, while others have abandoned. They don't do it to gain ec, but to build a community.
C as in sent to the Cleaners- Many fleets and fleet leaders spend countless hours working hard to build longterm surviving fleets and gaining nothing but headache when they're unable to obtain their goals. Sellers are saying you can put a price on that, and that gives all the wrong ideas. There are helpful things I've done for others and others have done for me that no amount of game money can trade for, nor would I want to.
D as in Don't be a Douche- The buying and selling of fleets is partly what brought STO Fleeting to its current state, filled with one-boss fleets, spam-inviting over each other for every fleetless player they can grab. The result? More and more players are opting to go fleet free, fed up with that utterly selfish attitude. The player I spoke to on esd may not think I understand her, but I do only too well. As players are feeling pushed more and more, they are increasingly becoming intolerant and antagonizing, and I've witnessed incivilities in the extreme. We may be in a game, but those players aren't joking. This is the first and only MMO I've played where I've witnessed someone get ignored for just saying "hello."
E as in there's always an Ego organ bigger than yours- As competition increases, more and more fleets are becoming self-centered, interested in nothing else but themselves and what they can do. The 'bigger' fleets are actually responsible for this, because little ones have had to resort to exaggerating themselves to compete with incessant fleet spam and multi-fleet fleets. All this monopolizing squeezes off the limited resource of players available for everyone else. Now, if I try to act like that they will say - a phrase I've already heard directed to me for no good reason - "think of others". Well I'm not the one trying to rule STO, so I'm looking at you straight in the eye. Do you?
F as in Fleet First- A game ceases to be a game whenever money, goods or people have to interact on the personal level. Take poker for example. May be nothing but a card game, but many a man has lost his pants and much more to it. As long as the fleet experience remains for community, it will be enjoyable for the ones in it. When it starts to be turned a tool for self-profit and game control, you can start sparing all the excuses. Because you're not doing it to help anyone, or to be beneficial to the game, but to fulfill an inner itch to be the bigshot mafia boss you cannot be in real life. And since it's a game, that may work for a while around the inexperienced. But no matter how much you make, sooner or later someone will send a clear message these damaging fleet practices are not welcome:
- Fleet creation for sale use.
- Mega fleet building in a single faction by the same players.
- Spam invitations
- Spam recruitment by any fleet in general and especially for 400+ member fleets.
Turns out that someone in this case happens to be me. If there are any among you, new or old, veteran or fleetless, who believe as I do that the Fleet comunity is one built by hard work and longterm care, stand with me now. If you're fed up with the misuse of our fleet system, then raise your voices with me and send a clear message to the handful of profiteers who treat STO as their personal piggybanks: No way in hell are we going to let you undermine what we work hard for. No way in hell are we going to let you monopolize and ruin STO for your personal profit at the expense of the community. And even if I stand alone, I will still say STO may be a big resource, but it is not big enough for you to undermine the fleet system and get away with it. Not while those with an interest in its mainstream prosperity are around. Not with them and not with me. Because it's not the amount of fleets that count, or how big they can get to be, but how well fleets are doing overall.
PS- To understand my perspective, you must know a bit of my current place in the entire scheme of STO.
I am an unknown leader in a little known fleet I have formed from scratch with several other leaders who joined their dreams of building a thriving fleet for dedicated mainstream players with mine. With them, I spend over a third of my time in game personally talking to players I feel might want a fleet they can feel young and grow old with; without inviting them first or spamming chat channels. Because I am selective for players who will stick around, I consider myself lucky if I find 1 player who joins by the end of the day. I am used to getting snubbed, ignored, even threatened. It's hard work finding good teammates, but I would go to hell and back to help the community prosper for the eventual benefit of STO.
As I did not want this post to be about me or my fleet, I chose not to add this above and only include it here for perspective purposes.
I have to take C's side. On my fleetless alts, I can get 3-4 messages very similar to yours just going about my daily doff ritual in and around Sol. It's a behavior that's been around for years, and by and large the community has had little tolerance of it. That you ask and don't just throw invites in people's faces is courteous, but largely academic to the problem of unsolicited fleet recruitment.
So, you're putting your foot down on people spamming recruitment offers, yet you spend a substantial amount of your time contacting people for recruitment purposes. You are part of that problem.
While I'm at it, that fleet seller you're trying to demonize, and others who have done the same? They're abandoning hopelessly expensive solo/small group projects (in the current case, a duo project where it sounds like the other half of the duo has already departed) and trying to recoup part of their losses.
This particular one's got about 22k in progression in place, so his total investment is smaller than most fleet sellers loose in the transaction, but he's still not getting his investment back, none of them have.
Why does a large fleet have less right to do what you're doing than you do? Because you think you're a better fleet than them? I suggest you take a step back and really objectively look at what you've said here, especially as your point E applies to it.
If you don't want to be invited to a fleet you can switch off invites on the privacy tab.
Irked me off the other day. I was PM'ed to join a "friendly, cooperative" fleet (privacy *is* set to ignore fleet requests) and in the process of returning a PM that there is a reason I set my privacy that way I found the player had already added me to their ignore list before my response.
I get what the OP is saying in regards to huge fleets continually recruiting for the sake of just having another starbase for no particular reason. ( selling fleets is kinda stupid IMO.. why would someone want to buy a level-less starbase? )
Its a pain in the butt trying to compete with these big fleets flashing their shinies at people to get them to join a new level 1-2 fleet just to have another one! That's pretty greedy. But some people need their ego's stroked in believing that these 800 people all follow them
BUT hey.. what can we do.. people are going to do what people want to do.. and honestly I am not sure I want that person in my fleet that just wants to join another for the shinies...these people tend to leave after they get what they want, or just wait around until what they want is available.
I am the leader of a small fleet myself, and I have to say.. for the 5-6 members we have.. we are doing really f-----g well.
While server is down i read your post heres what i think
Fleet creation for sale use.
I never been offered a fleet or saw someone selling fleet at ESD or recieved a email spamming a fleet sale. And i been around since beta
- Mega fleet building in a single faction by the same players.
this i have seen and yes its irritating but some do it because of fleet size limits also have friends who each started a fleet got about 10 players and then formed a bigger fleet but kept own fleet.
- Spam invitations
turned fleet invitations off in options
Spam recruitment by any fleet in general and especially for 400+ member fleets.
put these people on ignore
For anyone who does not want to read the details, I am basically saying those things I outlined in red in the second half of my post are detrimental and leading to a chain reaction of consequences for the community fleet system. Players are getting edgier, fleets are becoming more aggressive and this is all going to do nothing but damage the fleet experience ultimately for the player. I don't like to be the only voice here for reason and temperance in fleet practices, but it's increasingly becoming the case it seems as players are polarizing and dividing more and more into pro fleet and anti-fleet camps.
Oh and btw, I spend time asking players politely if they like to join our fleet because i prefer to waste 6 hours doing that than spam or pre-invite. If you have any better solution I would more than welcome it, but it increasingly is feeling on this end that the only solution many would like to see is abandon your fleet and go to hell since you're not a t-5. Even if you don't say it directly to my face, I can feel it nonetheless.
I for one approve of the mega fleets soaking up mediocre players like a noob sponge ... makes my life easier
For some of the best fleet experiences possible, go to the list of top 10 fleets at http://sto.gamepedia.com/User:MatthewM/TopFleets, and instead of looking to the mega fleets with open recruitment or the ones that are mindlessly spawning sister fleets to waste resources in, look for the smaller ones - the ones that you haven't heard of - that avoid advertising recruitment. They do that for a reason , and I can guarantee that in those fleets you are likely to find very committed and serious players that keep to themselves and do not contribute to the problems you outline. Quality over quantity is a valid fleet philosophy!