Category Archives: Politics

Hold What You Got

Ok, so the big CFC / HBC 2.0 showdown is here.  It’s here and it’s ugly.  Goons were initially looking at a badly divided HBC, with weak leadership, confused allies, and unmotivated members.  They had been having it all their way in Delve and were hooting over the fracturing of the once proud coalition.  They invaded Fountain and found that PL was backing TEST, that TEST had its motivation, and that their doctrines were not all they were cooked up to be against what TEST had developed.  Then TEST started gathering allies.  As it turns out CFC and Goons especially have built quite the list of enemies over the years (whodathunkit) and that many of these people were champing at the bit to take a crack at them.

So CFC invades, and manages to cut a lot of the “fat” out of Fountain.  They capture several systems, whelp and kill several fleets, and generally make at least a decent showing of things.  Goons don’t so much steamroll their enemies as smother them.  What they didn’t expect and what I didn’t expect was that TEST would hold out so firmly.  TEST managed to pry back the clawing fingers of CFC, helped by a rather lackluster showing by many CFC alliances, and a tremendous showing in both Fountain and back in the North by alliances working with and for HBC 2.o.

So TEST has decided where their fortress will be and is busy piling up the corpses of CFC ships and pods.  CFC is keeping the pressure up as best as they can, but it seems that some of the larger battles are involving a lot of CFC and very little of TEST.  THIS fight didn’t exactly make TEST break a sweat.  In fact they seem to have missed it altogether.  This is a very bad sign for Goons, and a very good sign for TEST.  Goons win by smothering, by making the fighting so not-fun for their enemies that they stop showing up.  TEST doesn’t have to show up, the gleeful hordes eager to shatter the goon narrative are doing the heavy lifting for them in entire battles.

This isn’t to understate TEST’s achievements, or the road ahead for them.  Goons don’t give up, Goons know how to win by losing, how to grind away at both the enemies capability and will to fight, and you can bet that things are in motion.  There’s rumors that they’ve bribed Elo Knight on Reddit right now to basically go somewhere else and fight.  Goons aren’t going to fight this whole war in space.  Currently they are taking a pounding in the Meta arena, where they are traditionally strong.  I doubt this will continue, whether it’s Elo or whoever, they will find a crack, drive a wedge into it and start pulling, TEST has to keep the momentum, and marshal their strength to be ready to fight themselves when the later onslaughts begin.

Finally TEST deserves enormous credit.  Even 2 weeks ago it looked like HBC was dead and TEST would stand practically on their own, Booda and the TEST diplos deserve ENORMOUS credit for their work ensuring PL would work with them, coordinating with Pizza, 401k, and BL to get CFC stuck in its own beehive of enemies.

TL;DR:

TEST have teamed up with friends old and new and shoved goons down in the mud, they need to kick them while they are down and watch their back while they do it because goons can backstab from anywhere.

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I’m using it every time I can

 

Mittani, Mistakes, Mountains, Molehills

Ok I wasn’t going to hare in on this.  I really, really wasn’t.  I don’t have much regard for Gevlon outside of the world of making (absolute fucktons) of money.  The man is a sharp shark of a market warrior and his considerable mental gifts are very well focused on his primary goal of making piles of isk.

He is not remotely aware of the history of EvE, the power structures of the major alliances, or the motivations of anyone who doesn’t permanently have their wallet open to chortle over.  Let me get to some details here.  Recently our gobliny friend posted an op-ed claiming that the Mittani had made his first and last mistake during his declaration of war.

News flash:  If it’s a mistake it has a lot of people who made the decision and it is FAR from the Goon’s first mistake.

Goons have a history of two things.  Doing something that looks fantastically stupid and turning it into something brilliant; like abandoning all their Sov to kill BoB.  This move had every pundit in the game laughing as they expected the Bees to get stomped, and find themselves completely homeless, hopeless, and friendless.  Only it worked.  BoB collapsed (with help) and the Goons found their strategy, and their spymaster, vindicated.

They also have a history of stupidly squandering success.  For example forgetting to pay sov bills.  For virtually all their sov.  Yeah, goons did that once.  It was a *bit* of a mistake.

Goons are also a TOUGH alliance.  Their connection to this game (like that of TEST) has nothing to do with EvE, but instead through a massive community entirely outside of the game.  If by some disaster Goons get crushed they won’t disintegrate like BoB, -A-, or so many alliances tied to EvE by only EvE.  The worst the could conceivably happen would be some coalition members drop out.  Some drop in activity.  They won’t failcascade any more than they have the numerous times they’ve been chased out of various areas of EvE.

Let’s talk a bit about why Goons are so successful.  They have a leader who makes statements, they have a leadership council that makes decisions.  I’m guessing these guys would measure up pretty well to a professional military staff.  I should know, I’ve been on one.  They look at measurable facts, they develop doctrine for each situation, they plan logistics and have replacement ships ready both on their own and through the  efforts of coalition members.

That’s the reason for this deployment in actuality; and the players know it.  They need a new source of income to support their mammoth SRP.  OTEC isn’t exactly controlling the T2 market like they used to.  Diversifying their income flow is an absolute necessity and grabbing the moons of Fountain will get them R64 and R32 moons that will allow them to continue an SRP program that includes not only regular BS, but T3s, Fleet BS, and Capitals.  You can’t replace them on the budget they are looking for so they approached their members, and their Coalition mates, and said “You want the largesse to continue?  You want the gravy train?  This is how we get it, show the fuck up.”  That isn’t a mistake.  That’s a straightforward decision.  TEST has been reeling, suffering from leadership crises and the shattering of HBC.  Now the non-surprise of PL coming to visit WITH CFC and AGAINST their former Coalition mates, TEST, not to mention the grinding battles launched when CFC deployed two of their “squads” to the south.

Now the CFC is coming with bells on.  They have their super fleet, they have their Coalition lined up like good little ducklings, they have a clear and simple motivation of self interest in expanding their available resources.  They might have to fight, and fight hard, but The Mittani & Co have had years to infiltrate TEST.  Their counters will be picked up and dealt with, the leadership council of CFC will provide a constant flow of guidance and resources while TEST’s scratch team will struggle to keep pace.

The one thing that CFC needs from this, ironically, is good fights.  Recently they’ve taken a bit of a pounding in their own turf from 401k and BL.  Always being on the defensive is no fun, it doesn’t make people happy, it doesn’t satisfy them and it doesn’t seem like you are achieving much.  Taking the offensive is usually far more popular with the legions.  It gets them moving, they can see systems flip, they can see the disruption in their enemies, they can brag about their effectiveness with far more emphasis on real achievements that everyone can see.  This can forge the newly shrunk Goonswarm and show them that they really are the hard core of the CFC, that they can compete, that they can measure up by their own metrics with their coalition members.

Gevlon would have you believe the greed will turn off the rank and file.  It’s their greed that feeds the need for this campaign.  They would have you feel that the CFC wave will crash against Fortress Fountain and withdraw, shattering Goons.  Goons don’t shatter.  Reverses strengthen them because of their shared culture, sense of persecution, and strong sense of community.  Goons can be defeated, they can lose, they can be chased to lowsec, but it won’t happen while they are on the offensive.  It will happen when they are on the defensive.  When they get pounded after being inactive too long, after being off the offensive long enough for the rot to set in.

Gevlon knows his stuff in his arena.  This isn’t his arena.  This isn’t close to his arena.  This isn’t within screaming distance of his arena.

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I’m using it every time I can

Uneasy is the Head

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Bill Shakespeare

Shakespeare would probably LOVE EvE Online.  The raw expression of human behavior would probably tickle him all over.  One of the points that shows up repeatedly in EvE is the toll it takes on its players.  Burnout is a frequent foe of leaders and plebs alike.  Recently Montolio resigned as the leader of TEST Alliance (please ignore) starting his resignation with the line “Shit was too much work, it wasn’t fun anymore.” which I can sympathize with from my time running a single crappy corp bouncing between mediocre alliances.

I can’t begin to speak about all the things that Montolio would go through.  He made decisions so far above my level that I can barely bring myself to care.  I want to talk about something else.  Fifty cents a day per member.  If you run a corp that’s what you are being trusted with.  Sure you might split it up with alliance leaders, with other leaders in your corp, but the bottom line is that someone in the world has said “You know what, the best value I can get for my 14.95 a month is with CEO Timmy and his Fancy Pants Corporation.” So let’s say you have 20 guys in corp, that’s 10 dollars a day, 70 dollars a week.  Can you provide 70 dollars worth of value in EvE?  Probably.  It’s not that hard, and let’s face it once people know what they are doing in game all you really have to do is set up a couple of roams a week/month.  However it quickly breaches into the realm of obligation.  When I lead I don’t feel like I can enjoy the game unless my corpies are enjoying the game.  When I start shedding people it hurts because I’m doing things wrong, clearly, or else they wouldn’t be leaving.

This may explain why I burn out on EvE so badly.

Now imagine what Monty’s share of the 13k + members of TEST is.  If he thinks of it as even a penny a member, that is, 2% of what they are paying, his “Obligation” runs over 100 dollars a day.  Over $4,000 a month.  Just over $50k a year.  That is, if I assume he is accepting responsibility for providing 2% of his alliance members amusement, he is bearing a burden of 50,000 dollars a year for his performance as an alliance leader.  Just a penny a day per member.  He may not have ever thought about it in those terms, but I bet the weight was there anyway.  Just as it is for other alliance leaders.  Just as it is for any leader.  Have fun, and remember to tell your boss if they are doing a good job.

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I’m using it every time I can

Moneyball in Space

Goons published their latest CEO Update on TM.com today.  There’s a lot in it that will raise eyebrows (one or both) including:  Free carriers, a rundown of who is doing what to who and where, and hints at a full-out DREAD giveaway which would be quite a windfall for the CFC folks.

What struck me was a little throwaway bit at the very bottom:

We do not do things that way: any alliance admitted to the CFC will understand our focus on both offensive war and metrics to prove collective effort.

This was what really raised my eyebrow, especially as it was thrown in with talking about recruiting newer alliances to CFC.  It brought me back to some musings I’ve had on how an Alliance so publicly and self-admittedly bad could be so GOOD at what mattered in the game.

Short version?  People like winning.  Goons have isolated the “winning” elements on a strategic level and devoted themselves to it.

Skip to the explosion if you have a short attention span.

Long version incoming so settle in or X out.  There’s two kinds of winning, tactical and strategic.  Alliances like R&K and old-skool PL¹ had isolated the surprise + leadership = victory core of tactical winning.  They used tactics their enemies couldn’t respond to to score hard fought but surprisingly bloodless victories, and pumped up their members by trumpeting their wins to the high heavens, while brushing off their losses with their ability to replace ships themselves.  They keep themselves lean, because that lies at the core of tactical brilliance, but they alone aren’t a threat to take and hold sov, they don’t have the raw mass required to weight the scales in a mass war.

Strategic Victory in EvE requires an ability to set your nose to the grindstone on two scales.  Leaders must bear an incredible weight, both leading and managing their alliance, and the rank and file have to respond to their leaders, be active and take part.  This requires something more than killboard l33tness, which is a good thing as Goonswarm’s 68.48% on EvE-kill is rather… bad as PvP alliances goes.    Yet Goonswarm Federation leads the most powerful coalition, with the most valuable nullsec space, in EvE.  How does such a bad alliance get to hold this position?  Leadership and determination.

Now how do you rate that?  Because clearly killboard efficiency doesn’t quite catch it.  So let’s dig in and catch some glimpses.  Goons use the term “Metrics” quite a bit so let’s start our search there (from http://www.businessdictionary.com)

Metrics:  Standards of measurement by which efficiency, performance, progress, or quality of a plan, process, or product can be assessed.

So a metric to Goons is a tool that allows them to measure the effectiveness of a sub-unit.  They don’t hand out directorships to that cool guy who shows up all the time.  Nor do they ally themselves with people who consistently underperform by their standards.  Now to be a true “Metric” Goonswarm has to set up standards which are quantifiable, that is, they can be measured objectively, they have to be relevant to whatever they are trying to measure, and they have to be capable of being scaled for large and small entities.

So Goonswarm leadership has set up two sets of Metrics, one for leadership, to determine who can generate the best quality and quantity of useful “Leadership” and they have applied this to themselves and to their minions, I’m not sure where to begin on this.  Certainly revenue is important, driving participation is important, and filling the markets is important.  What else is important and how it is generated, measured, and compared is beyond me.  There’s a reason I fly in fleets rather than lead them.

The other set is for members as a group.  I’m even less certain how this is measured, what it measures and how it it is applied internally and externally is frankly outside of my horizon.  Clearly efficiency isn’t that big.  Raw participation has to be a factor, as well as both unique members joining fleets, and how often each person joins said fleets will likely be a factor, who brings what, what they lose etc, but how is it measured and evaluated?  What are the standards?

pic4

Moneyball was a book written in 2003 about the revolutionary new way of thinking that the Oakland A’s had been doing for a few years.  Rather than looking mostly at “counting” stats, especially ones like Steals, RBIs, and Strikeouts for hitters, which often didn’t have as much impact as conventional wisdom would lead one to believe.  Instead the A’s went with “rate stats” focusing in on new stats generated by the SABR community, which served as indicators of overall contribution, like OPS (On Base Plus Slugging) for hitters and ERA+ for pitchers, or simply stats like VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) for anyone.  This gave them a competitive advantage over other teams over the course of a season, as they could find bargains on players who weren’t highly regarded, but generated wins.  Most leaders in EvE are the old-skool types.  They equate pure l33t PVPness as espoused by killboard stats, big shiny fleets and vaunted FCs as the be all and end all of EvE success.  The new leaders in the game are people who have cut away the traditional stats, and look for what wins.

By creating their own metrics, the Goons have done what SABR did for statistics.  Creating their own methods of reporting information gathered, and doing so in a way that contributes to the overall success of their coalition.  Moreover they have done what Billy Beane did for the A’s, by using those stats to build both an alliance that wins, and train other alliances to contribute as part of their “team.”  Goons were successful before OTEC.  Sure their current success is greatly aided by Tech, but they didn’t get Tech to get successful, they got successful to get Tech.

¹New-Skool PL manages to do both with rather admirable success.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

They Held the War. Everyone Came

So a couple days ago I said that they would hold a war because people came.  My GOD did they ever.  I’ll assume that by the time you’ve made it to my blog you’ve heard that CFC managed to whelp some supercaps and an entire cap flotilla in lowsec, and that PL and company played the part of the “Fist of Darwin” in this case.  What you may NOT know is how the numbers played out.  According to THIS battle report:  HERE

Blue team (CFC & friends) had 821.  Red Team, consisting of PL, TEST, other HBC members and N3 or whatever I’m supposed to call them brought 1587.  That leaves 872 in the middle.  Not affiliated with anyone.  Also more people than CFC brought.  Nowhere NEAR as much firepower as CFC brought of course, but people were so intrigued by the chance to hop into this fight that the kitchen sink probably did include some day old toon flying a velator with the mining laser still strapped on.

This shows a couple things:  First, never jump Titans into lowsec, especially 10 jumps or less from Jitamart.  No I won’t even pretend I thought of that before this fight but if you want to claim to be a strategic genius you might want to take that kind of geography into consideration.  The Titans were nothing but targets and were rapidly moved out or crushed.  Hordes of people came in.  The node held up somehow, although I bet the language among the DUST folks was rather educational.  Second people like to jump on goons.  This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, what with the Ice interdiction, sponsoring Hulkageddon, Jitageddon, Jihadswarm, and of course the litany of scams and wars that have made goons into Goons.  What was amazing was the gleeful enthusiasm with which everybody, his brother, his niece, her little dog Toto and some kid they ran in to on the way over came with them.  This wasn’t everybody, this was ERR-BODY.  I was racing down in a shield stabber to… well… KM whore.  I got 4 jumps out and Tidi started to kick in, and I was having issues with session changes that nearly cost me a ship.  Let me tell you losing a Shield Stabber might not be bad, losing the LG slave pod I was in because of stupid Jump Clone timers while FLYING a shield stabber would have been…. embarrassing.

My alliance, Get Off My Lawn is certainly looking expectantly towards VFK to see which way the wind will blow.  I certainly bet HBC + PL, N3 and possibly some other factions are looking to their leadership to see what and how things will change now.

One quote that has come out from this does bear commenting on.

I feel this fight epitomizes the position the Mister Vee (of GSF) and myself advocated few days ago, and thus we feel vindicated now that it was once again clearly demonstrated that you do NOT need to invade anyone, shoot any structures or engage in a soul-destroying 0.0 SOV war in order to kickoff epic fights in EVE. Some people in EVE needed a lesson that big fights almost always happen by accident‚ and the lіkеlyhood for them occurring iѕ exponentially bigger when there ISN’T a space empire at stake. Best fights are those where both sides go “f*** it, bring EVERYTHING” just because they can and have a good brawl.

Someone call Shadoo and remind him that the whole fight started over a tower.  That’s what put ships on the field for DBRB to Bridge loljump his Titan into.  Every powderkeg needs a fuse.  Unlike Spinal Tap Drummers, spaceships do not spontaneously combust.  Battles start over something.  For null to have a war both sides need to know a fight is in the mix or there won’t be a fight, just a bunch of disappointed bastards on one side and sleeping/eating/porn watching bastards on the other.  This fight happened over a moon, sure it belonged to neither side (that mattered) in this fight, but this wasn’t a fight for the sake of a fight.  DnD was stalking a moon, and being stalked by CFC, CFC was stalking DnD and being stalked by PL (and everyone else in EvE apparently) it didn’t happen in a vacuum, it didn’t generate itself.  This battle had a beginning, a spark, that lit the fuse that caused the big badda boom.

Fly Dangerous.  Score Kills.

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I’m using it every time I can

Apprently the Reset Took

For those that haven’t heard, massive fight today in lowsec.  Someone Leeroyed in a Titan, and hijinks ensued.  Goons lost 2 titans, at least 1 super, likely with several more still needing to die/be posted.  PL has apparently lost a couple supers themselves.  I didn’t make it anywhere near before massive lag waves convinced me to give up

Fallout should be interesting.  No one wants to be the FC the day after a fiasco like this, TESTies that want a fight with CFC will certainly be emboldened by this.  PL is quite pleased with themselves even with the losses.  What had looked like a complete denouement last night suddenly looks like it might just become a big deal again.  This will not appease the peace party on either side.  CFC will want revenge, HBC will smell blood in the water, and other sharks might just be emboldened to try to carve out some space if the superpower start fighting each other.  The big blue doughnut might crumble a bit about the edges.

I still don’t think this will turn into the Great Western War.  It certainly won’t turn into a territorial war.  I do think there will be a lot of fleets sniffing around for the next few weeks.  Certainly this fight will escalate the situation.  DBRB is not going to be in the good graces of CFC high command for a while, and the need to replace these ships, as well as the dozens of caps, and subcaps will likely not do anything good for even CFCs wallet.

A year that had promise to look like a “Victory Lap” for the Big Blue Doughnut now looks like it might simmer and boil into a nasty little war.  Should be fun.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

The Holy Trinity of Highsec

I have spent a lot of time in highsec.  I’ve lived there before, I’ll live there again, and I can comfortably consider myself at least a highly informed person when it comes to the highsec population.  I’ve noticed that highsec people tend to be 1 of 3 types.

  1. Alts.  Lots of people have “highsec alts” whether it’s for market games, missioning, spamming Jitamart, whatever.  Highsec alts make up probably 40% of highsec.  They tend to be completely isolated from anyone in highsec as they are talking to others in null… who may also be alting it up in highsec but let’s not get into recursion here.  
  2. Carebears these are people who have chosen to avoid null, avoid low, and avoid wormholes.  These are not nullbears, or WH bears, these are the true Carebears.  They form small, insular groups, which function as “echo chambers” where their own “knowledge” is shared between them gaining more and more weight as they all “hear from someone” that whatever they want to think is true is, in fact, true.  Funny story, we had an infiltrator in a mining corp convinced they could build carriers in highsec to kill the “ebbil piwates” who had savagely smartbombed their mining fleet a few days before.  They very rarely seek any form of outside information and often end up with wild misunderstanding of the rules and even basic mechanics of EvE.

    I’m not just throwing that out there, look at how long it took to get even most of the Incursion community away from missiles.  There’s a few that picked it up fast, but nearly everyone looking to get into Incursions seemed to be trying to bring a Raven or a Drake even with several established websites telling you what to bring that you could Google.

    They make up another 40% of the normal highsec population. They tend to be the least interactive and I tend to be pretty hard on them, but they don’t usually read blogs so meh.

  3. Griefers Hi there.  Seriously though, these tend to be communicative and interactive, and by definition they are reaching outside their circle.  They run the gamut from being brutally sociopathic, seeking only to drive people to the game, to being people who play a game for fun, in a way that occasionally victimizes other people, but also willing to offer a hand back up to those they “dust down” a bit.  They make up 5-10% of the population, but they generate almost all of the multiplayer content accessible to outsiders in highsec.  They may not WANT to be part of the content, but that’s rather the idea of EvE.

I said in the comments of my last post that I was imprecise, and that is possibly the worst thing to be in a blog.  I am perfectly OK with people playing in highsec.  What I really want them doing is creating content for ME.  A highsec player who does nothing but accumulate isk running missions, mining, doing whatever, doesn’t really add value to MY experience.  A griefer potentially does.  Alts have mains, who potentially do.  A carebear?  Meh.  His replacement is a dime a dozen.  The ore he mines will rapidly be acquired by someone else and my prices will stabilize   The isk injected by that mission runner who got horribly ganked will be replaced by another mission runner and the prices will stabilize.  Again I don’t care what you do much, or where you do it.  I care that you bring something to the table, that you contribute to this game, to this community, to me.  If you can do it by moving, great, if you can do it by blogging, great.  If you can do it by doing what you are doing, fantastic, but if you aren’t doing anything for me, why should I give a rats ass about you?

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

 

 

War, What is it Good For!

So the drums of war are beating.  Sort of.  In that “What the fuck are you smoking?” sort of manner.

Before I get into this I have a disclaimer: I am pretty much getting the CFC side of things.  While I have friends in TEST, they aren’t really the “Core Personality” that people think of when they think of TEST.  The forums, major channels, and the public information is what I can base this off of, so I am freely admitting that I might be wildly wrong.

Now I pretty much understand a couple things.  First:  TEST has a diplo that makes me look like a sophisticated, subtle driver.  Thanks for that.  Second:  FA and TEST are having some serious pre-existing issues that probably need to be dealt with.  Third:  TEST’s inferiority complex is driving a lot of their “Core Personality” types.  More on this in a moment.  Fourth:  The “Srs bizness” folks are shaking their heads, but playing along for the chance at some seriously awesome fleet battles.  Fifth:  Nothing will come of this.

I’m not going to talk too much about points one and two.  TheMittani.com has more or less exhausted THAT possibility.  Point three needs some explanation.  I’m not saying TEST is an inferior alliance.  They are most assuredly not.  They have written themselves into the front page of the EvE Alliance list.  They lead one of the biggest Coalitions to grace Null right now, and their leadership have worked damn hard and are rightfully proud of what they have achieved.  This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a perception, both inside and outside of TEST, that this success is “tainted” by the assistance rendered to them by Goons.  Personally I don’t buy too much stock in that belief, but for people who seek excuses or seek to instigate hostilities, that perception is a HUGE button.  Bright red.  Labeled “DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON”

The Reason For the Next War

Like I said, I don’t regard TEST as an inferior Alliance.  I don’t regard HBC as an inferior Coalition.  They clearly have enough military might, enough strategic skill, and enough diplomatic skill to thrive in the current EvE Paradigm.  Right now there are elements within them that need a fight, and the list of opponents who might fight them is thin.  They have an excuse, they have a rallying cry, and they have a button to press that will cause “TEH RAEG” to drive things to a head.

Mittens and PL are both looking at this with a more jaded eye.  Were their leaders the kind for pithy comments I’m sure the average comment would be one of “wut?” or “SMH” but their disdain for the ham-handed workings of the TEST “Diplomat” is clear, as is their dislike for the entire war.

Finally this won’t be a war for territory.  Alliances will be hurt, and FA will likely suffer out of all proportion to any other alliance’s suffering.  TEST might suffer a little.  Goons might try different things to keep the war effort “fresh.”  PL may or may not be involved.  I think they will act to prevent things from getting too serious.  Goons don’t want more territory.  TEST doesn’t want more territory.  PL only cares for moons.  The pets are all content, and while many of them want a fight, they don’t want to be blueballed all the time, and as an ideological war this one is a bit of a dud since it’s Pot vs. Kettle.

All and all I wouldn’t mind the war.  I doubt it will turn into North Vs. South.  This won’t be a war for survival (except maybe for FA.)  It won’t be a war of competing ideologies, or styles.  It will just be a war if the participants show up and fight.  It would be the exact opposite of the old saw “What if they held a war and nobody came.”  It would be a war they held just because people came.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

When it All Comes Down

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.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can

What I Did in EvE Today

Today was a fairly eventful day.  I logged in, fiddled with my horrendously unsuccessful market alt for a bit.  Looked around and finally bit the bullet.  Jump Cloned Corelin down to empire, sold some stuff to keep liquid and bought an Archon BPO.  Because I can.  I then puttered about for a bit, realizing I don’t have a good place to research it at the moment.  One of the corpies misinterpreted my plight to understand that I needed an Archon.  He mentioned that he had one he couldn’t fly stuck near a station owned by some reds in NPC null.  He’d bought it a while back and just never bothered to skill for it.  He needed it, and the ships it was stored with, moved out and pronto.  He was willing to pay.  With the carrier.  I want to make this point clear.  I did not ask for the carrier.  It was offered to me free and clear, I asked him if he was sure.  No I didn’t ask very hard.  The Archon was not located in friendly space.  In fact it was decidedly unfriendly space so I hopped in Robert Capa, my extremely slippery Loki that was literally built for this sort of expedition, and moved out.

33 jumps later…

I bounce through a few systems filled with baddies.  Was kicking myself for not checking the route more thoroughly and I was *REALLY* hoping that the carrier had little things like fuel, some fittings, and that the station had a generous undock.  I land on the station and breathe a sigh of relief.  FAT undock.  Love it.  It’d take multiple Mach bumps to get kicked away and I’m not that dumb.  I rechecked the jump range, counted the people in station against in system, and realized that I could go straight to a cyno beacon, and that the only person undocked was someone I’d seen stooging around in an Ibis.  Whelp.  Load everything in the carrier, and I mean everything, Undock, ctrl-space, quick d-scan, right click on the capacitor and JUMP!  It even had fuel.  Of course the idiot that fit it in the first place had triple trimarked it so lumbering into warp took EVEN LONGER than it normally would.  Finally I breathed a sigh of relief as the warp tunnel formed and my ship slid across space into the friendly confines of our local home.  Trading back the ships and faction mods from the carrier I enjoyed myself spinning it for a little while.

We have recently imported practically an entire highsec carebear corp.  Caldari ships and mining vessels abound for these guys and hardly a turret to be found in their whole arsenal.  I spent a little while chatting with them about the “why” of turrets and armor, including such gems as “I’m fairly certain an Armor tanked Nidhoggur could run down a Rokh” and a pretty intelligent discussion of delayed DPS, and the more recent missile nerfs.  Fortunately these guys have the right attitude.  They know that explosions happen, and are willing to train into what they need to train into.  Sadly they have a bit further to go than I’d like but we don’t all start with great armor tanking skills, or T2 turrets sadly.  What they do have is not only the capability to generate raw materials, and basic ships, modules and munitions, but a driving NEED to do such things.  They were drooling over the opportunities to make money with a completely unconstrained voracity.  When the JFs arrived they eagerly tore into getting themselves sorted and making money just to “stake their claim” on space, and see what opportunities they had.  Hopefully they can continue their enthusiasm and pick up an equal penchant for blowing up the fruits of others labor.  All in all quite a fun and successful day.

I'm using it every time I can

I’m using it every time I can