When it All Comes Down
Posted by Corelin
So The Mittani linked one of his older pieces today. This is the kind of reasoned, insightful pieces that put him on the map and it is generally true. From the inside things look different and *feel* different. Spies might be chortling it up but watching everything dissolve around you is frankly rough. There’s been two times when my alliance has crumbled around me, once when I was a grunt, and once when I was a director and I’d like to talk a bit about the feelings more than the mechanics.
Cult of War I’ve talked about a lot, and it was Goons and Cursed Alliance that killed us, well Atlas helped by not helping, but that is life as a pet. Goons created the sustained adversity for us, we came home from the Great War disappointed and feeling put upon by the fiasco that had landed on us. Still a good portion of us hadn’t made it into the HED fiasco thanks to some poorly time ops and our forces were intact, then the raids started. After a prolonged wartime period wallets were low and Goons had cloakies in all systems at all times, not just one or two either some of our major systems had more oranges and reds than blues. Hotdrops were a daily occurrence and Goons were fast to move their CovOps hotdrops around the several systems that were in range of our tiny home. I was poor and getting poorer. We had multiple CTAs a week and ratting was impossible. Several of our people would just clone jump to highsec and I was rapidly getting an indy alt together to build SOMETHING to make money with.
The breaking point was hit far more suddenly than what Mittens suggests. After an op popped a CSAA we had in operation leadership virtually disappeared. Confusion increased daily and the quiet steps back started. The end came suddenly when our leader re-emerged to announce that the jig was up and we had basically 4 days to GTFO. Goons found out about the evac before we did so it was a very perilous one. Things got chaotic and large amounts of materiel was left behind. I still have some relic fits out there, a snipe megathron, an eagle, a ferox… We were confused. We had been losing but there was no honest threat to our space. Goons had no interest in Scalding Pass, but the will of our leadership collapsed, possibly from lost RMT from the CSAA, possibly from knowing that we couldn’t really grow, that everything we did would be limited by Goons, and that while we had the will, we were running out of warfighting material. We had people who lost 3 or 4 ships at a time defending CSAAs, fighting the timers Goons showed up for, and they could see the writing on the wall. The end was precipitous, and calamitous. We fell apart and corps were booted or left in a torrent. Engad Tanon has attempted to resurrect CoW several times since then, however it is now closed, and it is a loss to EvE that it happened so.
FWA was a very different sort of alliance. Run by the mercurial but formidable Dread PirateRoberts; FWA had a solid grasp on its goals and had the power to drive to them rather easily. We had a blast and I managed my role as a CEO, and one of the strategic leaders of our merry band, but something was rotten in Aridia. DPR was about as diplomatic as an HE shell with a contact fuze. When he should have been sharing the credit he was hogging it and when she should have been shouldering blame (whether it was really his to take or not) he was blasting people. He was also a paranoid bastard but I think every EvE leader is a paranoid bastard because… well… It’s EvE. As it turned out his paranoia was very well founded. Several of his corps split off, behind a very elegantly stated series of blatant lies that split the alliance virtually down the middle. We had some advantages but diplomacy wasn’t one of them, and when Mayhem. brought in ringers things went downhill and fast. We got stonewalled in a fight that cost us multiple Bhaalgorns, and only some utterly fantastic bumps by Sefiea Wreth saved our carriers. After this fight, forming a fleet was simply impossible. All the momentum was gone and we tried to convince DPR to move to another area. We scouted, we wrote out reports, we did all the leadership things in EvE that make the game a job, and not a game. DPR wasn’t swayed and the members started voting with their feet. Fancy Hats pulled out and I burned out. I was exhausted, mentally, emotionally, and even physically, it had been THAT stressful. Leadership had poured out its treasure, its sweat, and its brainpower and most of us had literally nothing left to give.
Being part of a failcascade hurts. It drains players, it drives their activity down. It destroys organizations. It also creates opportunities and vacancies. It opens up space, and drives conflict and the engines of both war and commerce. For every ship destroyed, one will be sold, for every shot fired, a round must be created. Every station one alliance loses, is gained by someone else. Players know this, and even if they burn out for a while they come back. Burnout burns down, and from the ashes players rise. Corps rise. Alliances rise. Not everytime, not all the time, but enough that the game has grown over these last 10 years. I’ve been knocked down. Knocked out even. CoW. CROM. FWA. S I L E N T.. (I hate dot alliances) I’ve also taken part in amazing things, and done amazing things myself. I play EvE for the amazing things, but I recognize that sometimes you cause the failcascade and sometimes you ride it.