Okay, okay, puns aside… recently, TISHU has been spending a lot of time in Fade camping SMA systems and providing a Darwinian service to Space Monkey Alliance, one of the CFC alliances.
The official reason the alliance is doing this is because of a contract. I’ve been highly engaged with this campaign. I came down in a Stratios from a secondary base I have up in Venal, with the intention of reshipping into something more appropriate and aligned with the corp doctrines and kinds of fights they were hoping to get. That was on January first, and I’m still going strong with that little Strat that could. In fact, I’ve seen a few more Strats in fleet. It’s a versatile ship, and once I finally die I’ll probably share that fit I’ve been so successful with.
And successful, it has been. I’ve racked up 43 kills since I deployed to Fade, with no losses (I did lose Vexor in Syndicate to a gate camp, but that was beforehand). Nearly all of those kills were with less than 10 pilots on the mail, and fifteen were solo. It’s been a good time, and I’ve been dedicated exclusively to the effort.
Why am I so engaged with this campaign? On a personal level, it aligns with my own thoughts recently. The whole purpose of this blog is to encourage players to learn to PvP – not to achieve some meaningless metric, but to appreciate the challenge of competing against another human, and in so doing to improve yourself.
Ideally, I’d love for a reader to choose to take the hard path after reading this blog, to grow and emerge as the next elite solo pilot. You’re not going to learn that by exclusively reading me, but I’d be content if I opened a few people up to the prospect of thinking critically about their decision-making and reactive process in PvP, skills that can also port over to the real world quite easily.
I try very hard not to be a hypocrite. That urge led me to leave the golden fields of unlimited isk in the CFC because it no longer aligned with my thinking. It may take me a little time to come around (with a little help from dramatic mechanic changes that shed light on some facets I didn’t agree with), but I get there eventually. So with all that said and armed with a desire to liberate people from thinking pap-based PvP is all that’s out there, I’ve thrown myself into this contract.
Ideally, I want one of two things to happen as a result of our pressure. Hopefully, SMA leadership will develop an effective counter that demonstrates they care about their members and that they can take control of their space – two things that will signal to all members of SMA that they don’t need to be a meat shield for a coalition. Hopefully, this renaissance of individual, corp, and alliance pride will no longer align with being a subservient participant following orders, and that we see them grow some initiative.
Or, members will realize that modern null-sec places them in the role of victim, that their leadership is unable to cope with a simple camping threat, and they decide to leave for another, more compelling corp or alliance option.
Both results are equally acceptable. TISHU’s presence in Fade is a furnace that will either expose the weakness in the material – causing it to crack – or they’ll be tempered, stronger, and aware that they don’t need to hide behind blues to provide meaningful content to their members.
Regardless, TISHU has offered a challenge to SMA – both the members individually and the leadership at large – and the way they choose to react with be incredibly telling.
Will leadership take on this challenge and work towards a solution, protecting its members and their ratting space from a camping threat? If they can, SMA will prove it can be an effective force. If not, it’ll fail in a critical purpose of its existence that draws members to it: providing safe ratting space for members.
Will members learn to rat safely and effectively with hostiles in system, travel safely and scouted, and learn to cope with threats rather than simply avoiding them? Or will they continue to make the same mistakes, turn their backs on the PvP needs that secure their PvE space, and prove all the worst rumors and insults said about the null ratter?
We’ll see. But SMA has been presented with a challenge that offers both opportunity and risk. Right now, it’s safe to say they aren’t up to the challenge, based on the lack of any real response or effort to overcome our attacks. They can form large fleets, but true power in null-sec has become the ability to deny an alliance use of their space, rather than conquering it.
SMA has the ability to rise up and improve themselves so they can cope with a threat like this. But, will they?