Making of The Ploy

Use this to discuss edits or changes to the wiki.
Post Reply
User avatar
Arin Mara
Posts: 320
Joined: 2020.07.10 13:53

Making of The Ploy

Post by Arin Mara »

Making of The Ploy
As of today the EVE University Wiki proudly hosts Chris Halsky's The Ploy: How to get 5.0 Faction Standing with all Empires. Chris has travelled across New Eden, completing thousands of Missions and five Epic Arcs to discover a quick way of getting 5.0 Standing with Amarr, Caldari, Gallente and Minmatar.

After countless simulations, tests and experiments Chris discovered that if you train Connections and Social skills to level V and complete:

... in the correct order you can achieve 5.0 Empire Standings from even a modest Faction Standing starting point.

Chris will tell you more about the guide and their awesome journey, while I'll describe how I've turned Before into After. :)

How it all started

Chris sent me a message on Discord. They asked me to edit The Ploy Wiki page. What I saw was a unique guide that deserves the widest possible audience. I couldn't stop editing until I failed to improve any word, sentence, paragraph or page.


... The Ploy Wiki pages are ready for the public!

Read before writing

Before writing, I had to read. A lot! That's because I had to understand:
  • What is the difference between Unmodified, Modified and Effective Standing?
  • What is the collective name for Amarr, Caldari, Gallente and Minmatar? [1]
  • How should I style the page?
  • What is the minimum amount of information that I need to follow The Ploy?

The last question was the hardest and required everyday consultation with Chris. For the past four days we talked over Discord and revised every part of the page. In the end I've decided on the following constraints: [2]
  • mirror Chris' Simulation Sheet as closely as possible
  • design the page for mobile first
  • do not repeat yourself and omit needless words
  • use lists, tables, images and Wiki templates as much as possible to enhance the beauty of the pages
  • push all loosely coupled information to adjacent pages
  • use as few terms as possible
  • do not use EVE Lexicon terms
  • do not abbreviate
  • link every first term occurrence to a Wiki page that explains the term
  • link to the same single source of truth
  • capitalize every term [3]

Restricted vocabulary? No abbreviations? Link every first term occurrence on every page? Why so many restrictions?! Whenever I embark upon an ambitious project I keep in mind the CEO Jilokari Kurvora's statement:
It is important not to lose sight of our main goal, which is teaching players about EVE Online. I encourage you to consider whether there are any changes or new projects that can benefit our members. Sometimes there is a really good reason why we do things a certain way...

I've also invested about a third of my efforts into page Discussion, Wiki Template Documentation and this Forum Post. Wiki Manager Rayanth's Manifesto is very clear on this point: "PHASE TWO: Lower the bar". I hope I've made inviting and well explained pages, ready to be edited by anyone. :) Chris and I have put a lot of work into these pages, but that doesn't mean we own them. In fact, the more people check them out, the better. :)

In the end

Do you have an idea, a guide or knowledge you'd like to share? Do you like what I've written? The EVE University Wiki is a free collaborative website with thousands of pages that already explain difficult concepts step by step! Link to these pages instead of explaining the concepts yourself. Invest more time explaining your idea and less time repeating what was already said.

If you'd like me to help you host your ideas on the EVE University Wiki feel free to contact me through EVE email, Forum or Discord. :)
- - - Appendix - - -
[1] Shoutout to capsuleer General Rambling who clarified the difference between Race and Empire. :)
[2] The very observant among you will notice that this very Forum post observes the these constraints too! :)
[3] The constraint flies in the face of the Manual of Style. However, I would not break it unless I had a very good reason. If the reader sees a capitalized word they will know it is an EVE Online term and not a word of common parlance. If they don't understand the term they can go back and find where it occurs first to get more context. If they still don't understand it they can follow the link to get a more detailed explanation. I believe this is good Human Machine Interface design, but I can't find any study that proves it. Therefor, if style harmony is so important, I'll go back and edit out all the capitalized terms.
User avatar
Chris Halsky
Posts: 109
Joined: 2020.03.28 22:27

Re: Making of The Ploy

Post by Chris Halsky »

Dear Unistas,

Merry Christmas, Happy Yoiul, best wishes for you all.

I thought that I will not have to write more than that in this topic, but since Arin said:
Chris will tell you more about the guide and their awesome journey
I feel obliged to comply :) If Arin can be described as professional writer, able to convey information clearly and concisely, I'm the complete opposite - please forgive me my way-too-long rambling, which I'm sure will follow :)

Long, long time ago, in Caldari space...

I messed up. I didn't knew I messed up, which is another complexity layer on top. How? By being good Caldari citizen, running L2 missions in my trusty Caracal, even against those pesky Gallente (Shiigeru will not be forgotten!) - which, as you might expect, did not made me the most liked person in Gallente space. Since my capsuleer career started by joining Uni almost immediately (Wiki being one of many reasons to do so), but flying alone for the beginning, I didn't knew any better.

After joining HSC I realized that my career in that space segment is quite a bit hampered by my past - so I started siding with Gallente corporations to correct that. I still haven't forgotten my homeland (even though capsuleers are not seen as extremely patriotic), paying them visit from time to time - mostly doing some errands for Caldari Navy.

This left me in the end with quite good Gallente standings, and not bad Caldari, which seemed to me like a good way to go further.

Planting the seed

My memory of past is hazy, but knowing myself, I started getting interested in faction standings a bit more. It's not something that is extremely useful for usual pilot, but I found the math and background of it quite clever - Diminishing Returns, Derived Standings, Inter-Faction Relationships - it all was something I wanted to know more about.

Another incentive was other pilots, stating that having good relationship with all Empires is something hard to achieve, something requiring a lot of dedication, being careful about what you do and who you side with. This seemed like good long-term plan, to try to achieve such status - if nothing more, just for me having goal which I do not have to hurry to complete, something I can gradually work for longer period of time.

All of this lead to...

Plans, we need more plans!

Planning phase. At first I just wanted to simulate how my faction standings will change if I do storyline mission. It turns out it's not as simple as I initially thought, and my spreadsheet which calculated this started growing - it's different depending on which faction you run the mission for (Inter-faction modifiers are not symmetrical, and they depends on faction size, which is hidden variable in game - yay), due to diminishing returns it matters if you run 2 small or one big mission, and so on.

After that, I started playing with different simulation scenarios - How good standings you can get by running only Storylines? How many of them you need to run to get X standings? How much more difficult it is to raise all 4 factions, instead of only 2? How hard it is to get all factions to 5.0? And that last questions sparked "The Ploy" - I re-arranged all things you can do to improve faction standings for some time, and in the end I got the ploy, still in ugly spreadsheet, but it looked like a plan I can follow. It also was not extremely long - there are easy ways of increasing standings, which if used together, can make quite a difference.

Technical details follow: In the end I decided to utilize Career agents - at that point of time they were super easy (maybe tedious a bit) and offer good rewards. Most people also do not run more that one set - it's not shown in the game you can do that, Another thing to use are Epic Arcs - these offer faction standings without derived standings, so it's free gain for us. You can check Wiki page for details, but general gist is to raise all factions with Career agents, run 2 Epic arcs, lower these 2 faction while raising other, and run 2 remaining Epic Arcs + SoE Arc - boom, you're done. Proof on my Wiki page :)

Would you be crazy enough to do that?

Last thing remaining was testing - I refused to share with wider audience without proper test. Making a small mistake in my calculations could mean that someone trying to run The Ploy would be stopped in dead end for 90 days - that's something I wanted to avoid. Whole idea started around beginning of October, and the testing began around beginning of November (roughly) - in the meantime we had war or two (which meant 'pause' for me), a lot of travel to Amarr space (I become shuttle importer - taking one from HSC, and leaving it in Amarr space everyday), writing Wiki, fixing mistakes on my spreadsheet, reworking my spreadsheet from start - quite a lot of stuff to do.

Finally, last weekend I clutched Penumbra, getting 5.0 with all empires. Oh boy, what a relief. What was left, was to fix all mistakes, iron out how my spreadsheet looks, and do something with Wiki - but that's perfectly described by Arin. It's probably not useful to a lot of people, but is something I wanted to share with you all :)

Are you crazy enough to do it? I hope so :) I would say it takes around 1-2 months to run complete Ploy (you need standings first, so keep that in mind) and land in that sweet spot, where all L4s are available, everyone likes you, and you can brag about having 5.0 standings, while others will tell it takes several years to obtain. Is it worth it? I don't know, that's the question you have to answer.


I would like to thank all people who helped me, especially:

Arin Mara - for Wiki-fu beyond my imagination. When I first started writing Wiki article, I asked Arin to "fix" it - I thought they will re-arrange something, maybe make some slight corrections. Instead, I was met with that:
Argh, my work getting slaughtered! But in the end it was the best bet I could make - The Ploy, instead of being a monster, became neat article - Thanks, I owe you, and you know it :P

Frites - I think currently on a break (RL syndrome), but they were the one who pushed me from "I have stupid plan, I need to test it sometime" to "Testing in progress, don't disturb". Huge help, huge motivation, thank you so much :)

All others, who were interested in my plans, and helped with their thoughts, opinions, advice - Daemon Oldman, Jack Colquitt, and probably many more, who I don't remember - thanks, and sorry if I omitted you - it does not mean I do not appreciate your input, it means that my memory is bad :)

I already have "The Scheme" in my plans - wait few months, I'll tell you what I've learned from Girani-Fa Incident ;)


Hivaa Saitsuo!
User avatar
Arin Mara
Posts: 320
Joined: 2020.07.10 13:53

Re: Making of The Ploy

Post by Arin Mara »

I promise the new edition of the Wikispeak dictionary will fit onto a single sheet of paper. The destruction of words is doubleplus good, a? :P

Happy Holidays, merry Christmas ;)
Post Reply