TheMittani’s recent alliance update drops quite a few bombs in a surprisingly few words. So many, in fact, that I just had to comment in two different posts. While the first focused on the roleplay aspect, this post is all about shifting coalitions.
First, let’s talk about what we know. According to Vince Draken’s Twitter account (and confirmed on TMC), NC. Is going to drop sov as of April 18, will reset Northern Associates, their rental alliance, and is presumably bowing out of N3. Nulli Secunda and Darkness. are losing their space in the black hole that is Delve/Querious/Period Basis (does anyone ever talk about those regions separately?). And everything N3 built up over the past couple years is being tossed into the “obsolete, not necessary” bin.
There are a few different ways you could take this change. On the one hand, you could build a #failcascade narrative out of the speed at which the N3 invasion of Fountain turned into the disintegration of the entire coalition and the loss of all of their space. Personally, what surprises me isn’t that they chose to go their separate ways (for reasons I’ll explain later), but the nonchalance involved. NC. doesn’t seem to care about their allies currently being hammered in the south, and Nulli and Darkness. don’t seem to be terribly upset that NC. pretty much left them out to hang high and dry.
That surprises me quite a bit. If an Imperium alliance (Dune evocation, so I’ll buy it) was attacked and the rest of the coalition didn’t respond, it’d send major shockwaves through the integrity of the coalition as a whole. I suppose I’d just assume the same reaction among other coalitions. That could suggest underlying problems between the component alliances that indicates some truth to the failure cascade storyline.
But, on the other hand, to some extent, this move was predictable ever since N3 stated their purpose for existing was to destroy the CFC. In that, they were a laughable failure (Seraph’s suggested gambits to the contrary). While the CFC seems organized under common goals and clear objectives, its enemies unify to destroy it. And should that fail, it’s only a matter of time until the underlying differences begin to fragment those coalitions of convenience.
And for another reason, it’s logical for NC. to abandon its sov. FozzieSov seems to be continuing – at this point, at least – largely intact without much modification. There are a number of reasons why that’s a problem. Being the attacker is definitely going to be easier than being the defender. In its current iteration, FozzieSov is a destructive system that will certainly kick over all the castles, but does nothing to encourage anyone to build them up again.
In this kind of system, a globe-trotting alliance could naturally conclude that a nomadic lifestyle – perhaps as a mercenary? – is the way to go. PL did, BL has always done it, and NC. appears to be doing it too.
Only, under FozzieSov, who is going to care enough to pay you to regularly attack targets sufficiently powerful to help you keep your edge? Those targets anyone will care to hire you for will be beneath you (causing you to lose pilots over time from a lack of exciting content) and the difficulty in holding null-sec under FozzieSov coupled with a lack of accelerated isk-generating methods in null-sec will make high-value mercenary contracts extremely unlikely. Who will pay 300 billion isk for something that can easily be taken off them down the road? You’d have to hope for a protection racket gigs (“If you hire us, we’ll defend you if you’re attacked.”).
From that perspective, I get why NC. would decide to abandon their sov. I don’t, however, understand the timing. If I was them, I’d want to hold on to as many moon as possible for as long as possible. Fill those coffers for the dark times ahead. Perhaps there is some truth to the failcascade storyline. Or perhaps it was simply too hard to keep together a coalition united by hatred of the evil CFC. It’s pretty clear that the CFC will endure so long as the cohesion among its member alliances continues.
TheMittani also mentioned that there would be some changes to the alliances within the CFC-now-Imperium. The first of those major changes was the shutting down of Fatal Ascension, one of the major alliances within the CFC. I admit I haven’t been too focused on how each of the CFC alliances has been over the past few months, but Zagdul, the leader of the coalition, apparently left Eve some time ago, and FA couldn’t absorb the loss.
This is personally quite sad to me. Of all the alliances that were in the CFC when I joined, FA was one I spent the most time around, other than Razor. Long before the joint deployment, I remember seeing dozens of FA folks in fleets. While their members are still going to be welcome in another CFC alliance, if they so choose, it’ll be sad not seeing the FA ticker.
While I don’t know if any other CFC alliances will leave (with the time zone focus, I could see Razor – a predominantly EUTZ alliance – decide to formally leave the CFC but still preserve their blue status), it seems pretty clear that FozzieSov is certainly succeeding in smashing the sandcastles, as I predicted, along with many others.
Many hoped that a shake-up of sov would break apart the coalitions. In one respect – N3 – it appears as if that might be the case. And the Imperium is getting a little smaller (in members, if not pilots) as well.
And it represents a further compression of CFC space, leaving A LOT of territory open for the taking. I’m personally quite eager to see what happens when renters have to maintain their own space from attack, when immigrants move in to take this empty space, and when I get a WH to these Balkanized areas of null-sec.
Assuming, of course, that space is worth it for anyone to take. There’s still time to bring balance to the force and raise the value of null-sec for small entities in the new Fozziesov madness that makes their ownership quite spurious. Interesting times ahead!