Dark Men in Smokey Rooms
Posted by Corelin
So Caldari Militia hit Tier 5 tonight. BOY are my fingers tired from spamming the LP store, but more on that from others. For possibly the first time in my EvE career I’ve participated in something like a Cartel. There’s two distinct hierarchies in the militia. There’s a PvP hierarchy, responsible for going out and shooting things, then there’s the LP Cartel. The two have a lot of overlap. The best PvPers have their fingers in all the pies.
Warzone control is not a measure of PvP dominance. It is rather like a goal which one side wants to achieve that in many ways serves the need of the other for a time. Opposition isn’t fierce, but there’s ways to profitably mess it up. This makes the organisation of such events often rather fractious. Too many and the market gets demolished, too few and people on the fringe of both communities drop out. The arguments get nasty, and the drama approaches null-sec levels of whining. I snuck a camera in to the last chat with the Caldari CEOs and here’s the clearest picture I got:
Tier 5 control requires a lot of systems under your control. Those systems have to be upgraded and that takes 75 systems at level 5 and 7 more at level 4 according to what i’m looking at right now. That’s pretty close to the minimum although I’m not sure how else you could combine levels, I’m not that into the maths. I will tell you that 75 systems at level 5 takes 7.5 million LP minimum. Fully buffered it’s 12.75. Million. LP. Those LP don’t come from nowhere, and people won’t spend that much in the first place for their discount unless they have a lot more than that to spend.
To get that many LP you have to farm a LOT of systems and missions. A LOT. This means throwing the game, letting the other side gaining dominance in systems. Letting them bust bunkers Busting them for them. You can’t make this stuff up. There have been bunker busting fleets set up by one faction against themselves to get systems flipped to allow for more farming.
Fancy Hats, as a member of KRAKEN. (because it’s not an EvE alliance without a dot it seems) has me at least sitting in on a lot of these meetings. I’m an Army vet. What’s more I’m an artillery guy. I’m not quite to the level of un-subtle that I’d hit every problem with a 1600dps shieldtanked domi, but I do own one. I marvel at the planning, not busting bunkers even in strategic station systems, to prevent a momentum swing as plexers flood it and fleets stalk it. Quickly forming fleets to bust bunkers before rumored enemy LP dumps to prevent them easily reaching the high tiers. Working to steal marches not only on Gallente fleets, but even to keep the number of factions within Caldari down. Bringing in certain people, shunning others militia wide. Influencing the tidal forces of the militia at large to plex certain areas to make the inevitable LP dump more successful, and harassing the enemy to limit their ability to resist our dumps.
I don’t even get a lot of the things that go on, and I’m sure I’ve misinterpreted some of the ones I think I do get. Faction Warfare may be easy at times, but it clearly isn’t simple. Not by a long shot. There’s wheels within wheels and drama cuts away at the trust that is so important even as much as it does in null. Trust and faith in the leaders is vital in FW. There are fewer unifying factors, no “We Must Protect This House” no “All for One and One for All.” Faction Warfare is “What have you done for me lately, and what will you do for me tomorrow?” When that question is unanswered, when that faith doesn’t exist, when people feel leadership is just dark men in a smokey room, they don’t work together. They don’t sacrifice a little themselves to get everyone a big benefit. The irony is the leadership does largely consist of very self-ineterested people who magnanimously take others along for the ride. The Mittani gets to see HIS minions in Goonswarm/CFC go forth and conquer and prosper. Whether that’s what drives him or not I imagine it is of immense satisfaction. Bolsterbomb and the others leading the LP Cartel don’t get that satisfaction. The hold they have on the Militia at large is far more tenuous. The Mittani can drive individuals, corps, alliances and even coalitions from his space with ease. Bolster has to put up with anyone who can take a little smack talk in local. The Mittani has a machine working to bring glory and credit to his name. Bolster is lucky to get a thank you for his stunning victories, like today.
And I suspect he’s ok with that. He enjoys leading the cartel, and he knows the measure of his success. He has a far more personal and visceral take on the game, and his own personal success is still tied to the contents of his hangar, not his eve-mail box. People in Low aren’t in null for a reason, either they don’t want to give up an identity that’s incompatible with null, they want to make it on their own, they don’t want to put up with the bullshit, or they just can’t hack it. Today those dark figures in smokey rooms pulled it off. They took control of the Caldari – Gallente Warzone with a firm hand and came back to cash in their richly earned monetary rewards and reflect on their dominance of their craft to views like this:
Tomorrow Tier 5 will be gone. In a week it will be back to 1 on each side. Plexing will resume and the march towards the next LP dump with it. Roams will go out, plex farmers and mission runners will resume their craft and the market manipulators will have a field day; and the men in the back rooms will plan for the next run.