Eras of EvE: The History

Ever since Cold War Sovereignty has been a major factor in EvE Online.  For years nullsec has been enduring the rise and fall of alliances great and small and the storyline of EvE follows these alliances far more closely than the struggles of the NPC empires that CCP occasionally details for the RP community.  These alliances have varied from overinflated paper tigers that exploded like hydrogen balloons at the first sign of danger, to hardened mercenaries, flipping allegiances at a whim or a payment.

The story of many early nullsec alliances looks almost totally unvaried.  A hard core of PvP corps charge out and shatter whoever occupies the space they want, then leaves as there wasn’t a lot of friction between alliances, too much space and too few people.  Eventually the alliance gets a reputation as a bunch of candy-assed carebears and someone else charges in to repeat the process.  Capital ships were rare, alliances centered around a cluster of carriers and a handful of dreads, and super-caps were (literally) unheard of for most of this age.  In addition the EvE economy was far less developed.  Many alliances seem to have been reliant on building much of their own material further straining alliances that started shedding corps.

To me this era represents the first age of EvE Alliances.  Starting with Cold War and ending with the Rise of Band of Brothers.  Small numbers of significant ships, rapid fluctuations in membership and cyclical occupations of territory.  Call it the Tribal Era.

BoB may not be the first of the harder, longer lasting mega-alliances, but to many of us that played in their EvE it personifies the superpower.  Ensconced in Fortress Delve they had titans, motherships, heavily fortified systems and a leader with the power of personality to hold it together.  Their core of PvP corps stayed with them instead of wandering off as the leaders sought opportunities to both make money and blow things up to balance the isk-makers with the pew pewers.  Strict, centralized leadership and the shepherding of “pet” alliances became key features of the superpowers.  Complex logistical arrangements to connect to the powerful highsec market hubs, including JF lines, Jump Bridges, and carrier relays became very common in this era.  Atlas & pets, and the old AAA were other examples of this kind of alliance.  RMT has emerged on an organizational level, with websites and shenanigans surrounding it, as well as botting, but it is still not terribly organized or consistent.  Call it the Superpower era.

When BoB fell due to the epic disband button, and the reformed Kenzoku couldn’t hold off Goons & Co on their own, the power had already started to shift.  This started a transition period away from the Superpower alliance and towards the Coalition alliance.  These alliances were run more like a modern company, with boards of directors, complex staffs, and levels of organization that spread responsibility to those best suited for it without giving up the accountability that made superpowers so effective.  Resources were allocated and production rationalized at the alliance level, with fleets of supercaps being organized and expanded on far more efficiently than BoB or Atlas could ever manage.  RMT has gotten much more organized, and indeed this era could be divided into the early times, when Superpowers still had the resources to fight effectively with the coalitions (think Supermax I and II) and the later era where the greater resources afforded to the coalitions by extensively organized RMT simply put them beyond the power of the “Superpowers” and into their own stratosphere.  Northern Coalition was THE Coalition when it existed.

So, for my money, the three historical eras that matter are the Tribal era, the Superpower era and the Coalition era.  Next time I’ll talk a bit about the modern era, what the coalitions morphed into and what I think is in store for these powers.

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About Corelin

An Eve playing Fool who occasionally writes about the shenanigans he and his minions get up to.

Posted on April 2, 2012, in Meta, Things I think I think. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Do you have any evidence of alliance RMT?

    I’ll be honest. I play the big alliance game and yes, it definately exists on a personal scale. Some people choose to buy ISK and some people in some alliances choose to acquire and sell ISK. It’s not very hidden, but at the same time it’s not out in the open or actively condoned.

    However I have seen nothing to suggest that RMT has been incoorperated into the alliance structure itself. Recently, CCP took a really hard swing at alliance RMT. People who were selling ISK got banned and buyers had their wallets emptied and in many cases put into the red. In my area of space quite a few people lost ISK but they were vastly outnumbered by the people laughing at them. Through all of this alliance wallets and leadership characters were spared. (There is a rumour that PL lost their wallet but this most likely has to do with them accepting large payments in the form of contracts and one of their employers using dirty ISK to buy their services.) I just don’t see alliance level or even organized RMT being very factually representitive of the actual scenario. For the CFC (30,000 people) it was literally one guy with a plethora of accounts and a dozen botting associates providing all the illegal ISK. That’s not a pie that any alliance had a finger in and while they might have known about it there is little they can do about it in theory unless they want to spend their day playing cop for CCP.

    What can alliance leadership do about RMT? Its not their job to sit and poke through who is doing what and buying what. Being a director is already a second job. The best you can do is audit your finances publicly and independently and hope that CCP follows through with their end of the bargain– which it looks like they’ve started to do.

    • A lot of the evidence of Alliance level RMT comes from things like the iskbank client list, the ATLAS peace negotiations and the pastebin dumps of the Northern Coalition negotiations. There’s two levels of RMT. There’s people botting/selling and buying isk (small scale stuff) then there’s the big stuff. Supercap sales, FC offers, and sales of goods and services between alliance leaders. Again look at the iskbank.com scandal. Those ships weren’t made available without someone important knowing about it. Even when I was in an ATLAS pet alliance it was known you could buy a ship for money far easier than for isk. The small scale stuff is easy to follow and deal with for CCP. The larger stuff is far more harmful to the game and harder to track. I’m going to look at the repercussions in the sequels to this blog.

      • Well I will admit to not having read those. Would you happen to have links?

        And yea things like supercaps are notoriously easy to RMT because their sold through 3rd parties and liable to be ‘scammed.’ However I still don’t think that it’s beeing done on an alliance level. Maybe at an individual level and an alliance scale, but that’s a little different than suggesting certain alliances as an institution have a primary or even secondary purpose of real world gain.

        Regardless, you’re right that this sort of stuff is bad for the game. I wonder if the introduction of nVidia cards for sale will establish a price floor for RMT, equating it to PLEX in value.

      • The links I have will be in the blog coming out tomorrow, although the pastebin links are likely dead.

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