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I focus almost exclusively on PvP, whether solo, small gang, or large bloc warfare. In the past, I've been a miner, mission runner, and faction warfare jockey. I'm particularly interested in helping high-sec players get into 0.0 combat.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pets, Coalitions, and Agency

I apologize for the lateness of this article; it slipped through the cracks.

This is how madness starts, this is how it progresses, and this is its end state.

Gevlon donated billions of isk to a bad investment: Test Alliance.  Why he thought an alliance leadership that fell so deeply into debt that they needed to crawl, hat in hand, to their members for donations was a good investment is beyond me.  Alliances are supposed to lift the tide for everyone, not dip into folks’ wallets.  What’s worse, he came up with an elaborate explanation to why other should do the same.  It amounted to, “I’m throwing my isk away, and you should too… because of these brilliant proof… er… absurd claims.

Then, he based an argument – essentially – every member alliance of the CFC is devoid of individual agency, and they simply parrot whatever The Mittani says.  Ask anyone in the CFC, and you’ll get a dozen examples of how this is not the case.  I think it’s safe to say he has blinders on when it comes to the CFC… we’re obviously evil, and everything in the universe supports this argument.

Only, we’re not.  We piss people off because we snuff them out.  We have a long list of enemies because of it.  But in the end, it’s business.  The folks who realize that dust themselves off, grow stronger, and either become our allies or become better enemies.

Those who don’t donate billions of isk to a losing proposition that collapsed in spectacular fashion.  Not to demean Test members (some of them are excellent pilots), but the alliance couldn’t manage a monkey poop fling in the zoo in its current form.

But the last article is amazing in the absurdity of its claims.  “The Big Lie”, I believe it’s called.  He clearly has no idea what he’s referring to.  My favorite bit is this: “They both built up something (capital fleet and Sov infrastructure) which they couldn't hope to defend, but they assumed that their masters will protect it for them.”

Razor defended a timer, which we lost only when BL dropped supers.  We were actually winning the engagement until that point (look at the battle report; we killed 64 bil… the way Eve fights go, that means it was actually pretty close).  We didn’t ask for Goon help, because we wanted to do it ourselves.  That’s one difference between a pet and an ally… allies try to handle things on their own when they can.  And later that week, saved the next system BL tried to hit.  Losing one fight is a long way from saying we can’t defend our assets.

But let’s talk about the valuable question in Gevlon’s article… the definition of pet.  He claims it’s being weaker than an ally.  This simply isn’t enough, though.  I’m not as strong as my neighbor, but I’m not his pet.  Pet implies dependence.  Given that Razor existed as a powerful entity on its own long before Goons were around, I’d say this isn’t quite apt.  Pets take no action without first getting approval from their masters.  I can give you two examples of when this didn’t happen (Great Wildlands deployment, IRC War). 

Allies are responsible for their own policies.  Pets must conform to the wishes of their masters.  I’ve never even heard of a “You don’t talk back to The Mittani!” comment being made by anyone in the CFC.  Razor doesn’t pay any isk to Goons.  The CFC is a coalition only so long as its component allies want to be a coalition.

It’s tempting to think Goons manipulate everything in the game, but – sorry – it’s just not true.  It’s tempting to believe the hate narrative about The Mittani if you’ve been a CFC victim.  But keep in mind that's exactly what it is... a narrative intended to cast one group as the "good guys" and the other as "the evil empire".

Only, the "evil empire" is actually pretty good to its citizens.  But wait, we can't have that getting out...

EDIT: Having forgotten to hit the "Publish" button actually has some benefits.  One development that concerns me in CFC politics is this renter program.  Apparently, all renters for the whole CFC will go into one pool, with the profits being distributed by Goonswarm to the various alliances based on alliance participation in CFC initiatives.  This strikes me as creating a dependency, which I'm very disappointed to see.  Surely there has to be a way to handle this type of issue in a way that doesn't make each alliance dependent on Goonswarm for its new #1 profit source?  I'll be watching how this goes down very carefully.  I don't like the CFC alliances having income-dependence on the coalition, and I'm a little concerned about that aspect.

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