Eras of EvE: The Setting
Today EvE is shaped mostly by the immediate past. What I like to call the Rise of Nations. The first sign that times were changing was the downfall of the southern Superpower alliances. Atlas lost its pets and shortly thereafter was destroyed in a deal RIFE with RMT Scandal. While these allegations are nearly impossible to prove, they certainly account for a lot of the decisions that seem head scratching when you realize that to this point ATLAS was still in a defensible position and had allies.
IT and AAA suffered next. IT had fallen a long way during its current incarnation and suffered for it when goons came a-knockin’ to finish the job they had wanted to finish for sooooo long. AAA barely put up any resistance, opting to follow the model shown by other survivors of putting up a fight but only as long as it made sense to do so. Wolves were not so much howling at their door so much as sitting in the hallway taking off their boots and putting on their “srs bizness” stompers.
This left the NC/Goon coalition in the north and northwest areas ascendant and the Drone Russians in near unbroken control of the south of EvE. In the north, NC was busy constructing supercaps by the dozen. In the south the drone Russians were doing the same. The showdown was inevitable. For a while it even looked like Goons were going to support the NC in their fight for survival, however the expected NC supercap blobs never showed up. I attribute this to the “business models” the two sides used. Where the Drone Russians seem to have engaged in lots of small sales to many customers, the NC seems to have focused on supercap sales. This made a certain amount of sense, it allowed leaders to pay off those they wanted to pay for example, but it also meant that they didn’t have the reserve of ready supercaps needed to be able to sustain a supercap fleet in the field. This made them extremely sensitive to losses, to the point where they never committed their supercaps, instead watching impotently as their enemies savaged their territory.
Where the Russians or Goons would have had the ability to reform their strength due to their unity out of game, the NC didn’t have that option. From a point of seeming invulnerability, their literal corruption doomed them to be spectators to their own destruction at the hands of their hated foes. Out of the ashes sprang several types of powers, built on different models.
The first are the “Nations” of EvE, dominated by two factions whose existence in EvE dates back to some of the earliest days of nullsec. Goonswarm and Red Alliance. These two alliances are dominated by something completely separate from what held together the previously dominant alliances. They existed because of a unifying factor out of game. Goons by their anti-establishment culture and its attendant “Us vs. Them” philosophy with regards to… well…. everything. Red Alliance by the fact that they are homogeneously Russian.
These monolithic blocs are a stark contrast to the previously disjointed groups that existed before. With a common culture and creed they represented a much tougher foe as they were unlikely to fragment under harsh opposition. Indeed throughout their history they had been beaten, battered and pummeled only to emerge stronger for it. Their unity, their sense of “nationalism” echoes that of the Russians and French in the Napoleonic wars, who threw massive armies around the continent and often suffered shattering losses only to draw on nearly limitless reserves of strength to replenish their losses after licking their wounds.
The second are the specialists. PL, and the new and improved AAA who I can force into the Napoleonic European mold without too much difficulty. PL fits into the UK slot rather easily. A much smaller, more “professional” force whose capabilities lie not in numbers but in the commanders and fleets they can field. Their sensibilities are almost entirely mercenary and they seem to get treated like a rabid dog even today. At the time of the fall of NC they were the kingmakers, with subcap, capital, and supercap tactics that defined the bleeding edge of warfare in New Eden. Even camped in lowsec and possibly deeply wounded by the latest RMT clearout PL represents a clearinghouse of mercenary power.
AAA reminds me more of Prussia, although it is a rougher fit. A power in between greatness and empire. Possessed of a reputation for greatness, but rebuilding and attempting to go from NPC space back into the ranks of Sov holders for much of the post NC era, they exploded recently, shattering much of the Drone Russian alliances power and have chased Red Alliance into another period of exile.
Currently the Russians are going through a rough spot. Fragmented along alliance lines, these habitual allies are fighting each other and outsiders and in general losing. Solar and ROL are doing well for themselves, and their northern allies are not affected by this at all. While I see some restructuring between these factions the Russian “Nation” in EvE seems nearly unaffected on the strategic level. This is not a situation where power is lost, merely transferred. Goons and the rest of CFC are, well, the two largest alliances in EvE and bigger than the next 5 combined.
Next time I’ll talk about where I see things going from here, and what I see killing the Nations of EvE