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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.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Circle Closes

The noose is certainly tightening around the CFC. Tenal and Fade are completely overrun. Vale and Pure Blind are operationally out of the CFC’s control. Even Branch – far in the corner and away from everything, is on fire, with a quarter of it already taken. Deklein hasn’t been hit yet and likely won’t be attacked until more CFC allies abandon the cause, but it’s being isolated steadily. Very soon, GSF won’t have a reliable allied supply route. Not that they really need it, being in Saranen and all.

I’ve spoken before about how the myth of the CFC – the idea that combining into a coalition would provide protection and ensure longevity – is gone. While Dominion Sov certainly benefitted from the blog, FozzieSov depends on the weakest link. He who cannot protect his space is doomed to lose it.

And over the years, all of the poachings of decent corps from member alliances by Goonswarm, the increasing reliance on coalition-wide content generation and essential capabilities, and the increasing reliance on ratting as a primary sov alliance’s activity has resulted in the non-Goonswarm members of the CFC being weak.

On this blog, I talk a lot about eschewing the easy path in favor of the meaningful path. I don’t use links because I feel they give you an advantage renders victory hollow, I don’t hurf and blurf about killing a single ship with 10 friends. I’ve argued that you need to take fights that are marginal; anyone can kill an Iteron with a Tornado, but can you kill a Sleipnir with a Curse? The only way you learn, in my opinion, is to put yourself in danger and fight your way out of it. The only victories worth celebrating are the ones where you fly brilliantly, or pull off an unlikely kill despite overwhelming odds.

Let’s compare that to the CFC of the past couple years. Alliances avoiding running their own deployments because towing the line with the coalition is easier. Indeed, the CFC skyteam (read, Goonswarm skyteam) was complaining that FCON was trying to do its own thing instead of folding into the benevolent, protective embrace of the CFC by deploying to Saranen. Time and again, alliance leadership has elected to lean on the CFC infrastructure instead of developing its own infrastructure.

How’s that working for you?

If I’m contemptuous of the CFC (and I am), it really has nothing to do with anything to do with the personalities, players, or tickers involved. It’s not about the experiences I’ve had with them – in fact, for the most part, I’ve been a part of them and been the perpetrator in those interactions.

No, the problem I’ve had is that I can’t conceive of a reality in which depending on someone else for so long DOESN’T make you weak and a soon-to-be victim. My glee in this war is that of a scientist being validated in his predictions, that I wasn’t delusional in my observations, that I was thinking rationally about leaving. That my conclusion that the CFC that conquered the north does not in any way resemble the Imperium that lost its way under FozzieSov.

How bad is it? This week, we’ve seen even more symptoms that the policies of dependence made the CFC alliances weak. Lemba outed himself as a director-level spy within GSF. On the heels of Blarf, Endie, Suas, and countless other known personalities and FCs leaving, now, some of their own are actively turning on each other. In the process, he’s promised juicy tidbits about “what the GSF directorate really thinks about their allies. They literally plan to allow everyone to fall for their cause and yes it will all be on reddit very soon.” I’ll be watching, of course, popcorn in hand.

It goes without saying that an alliance that respects its coalition allies and genuinely wants all of them to thrive wouldn’t have damaging secrets to reveal. And from what we’ve seen from other leaks and turncoats, it’s pretty clear that the narrative being spun by CFC sources is clearly false. Goonswarm is not coming to save you. They don’t have to. You are not valued allies, and you are, in fact, a meatshield whose sov is being used to occupy the enemy.

I honestly have to wonder what’s going through the minds of the remaining CFC allies. I’m not referring to the recent additions who wanted safe ratting space, have hopped from alliance to alliance to acquire it, and really aren’t invested in the CFC. You remember those inflations to alliance numbers since FozzieSov? Yeah, they won’t really be missed.

Nor am I talking about the PvP corps who saw what was happening and actively chose to leave the rotting ship before they lost their corp culture in the process (or, in the case of RP, pulled a turnaround before that culture was irrecoverable). They saw that the CFC’s coalition model actively decreased their fun and replaced it with bullshit a long time ago.

I’m referring more to the members of long-time CFC allies. The founding members of FCON or Razor, for instance. What could be going through their minds.  I’ve been gone from Razor for two years, and even now, I’m a little saddened to see S-EVIQ fall to members of a droneland coalition.

Let that sink in. Razor Alliance allowed their staging system, their ancestral home lost once and recovered in a hard-fought war four years ago, to fall while they deployed to Saranen at the orders of someone outside of their alliance. How many cynos is it to S-EVIQ from Saranen? How could you ever hope to defend it from there?

What pride must you have lost to allow that to happen? And it’s not just S-EVIQ. BKG-Q2, Fidelas Constans’ religious center, is occupied by OSS, with systems surrounding it falling every day.  SMA’s Fade, which isn’t as long-tenured by the monkeys but is no less beloved by them – is completely overrun, with O1Y-ED adorned not by a monkey, but the octopus trike of Pandemic Horde. And yet, Deklein remains untouched with ratting continuing as usual.

How does one support a strategy that sees all of the things you value flushed away? Even if those alliances recover their space (and it’s possible some of them will), that stain on their tenancy will never go away. It’ll love on dotlan, affixed to each system forever, as a constant reminder that your alliances weren’t weak enough to defend them. What’s worse, that your alliances gave up your space to an alliance no one had ever heard of before, and which, when told who it was that was strong enough to rip every system from you, future players will most likely reply, “Who?”

Maybe I’m just built differently, but I don’t think I could tolerate that indignity, nor unironically remain in an alliance that felt that was the best strategy to winning this war.

For, it is no victory if you lose everything and take it back after your enemies left. It’s no victory to live with the knowledge that you left your space to be taken because someone else in another alliance told you to do so, before you even lost a single fleet in its defense. What does that say about the convictions and abilities of your alliance leadership?

What does it say about you if you tolerate this paradigm?

Yet, there's good news. We never make positive changes until we're forced to, and the purging of the north offers the opportunity for members, corporations, and alliances to take actions that will improve themselves. Do you want to prevent your alliance from being burned out of its space again? Make yourselves strong. As you lick your wounds, don't pursue safety as you have, but become better through risk.

Your alliance doesn't have FCs to protect your own space? Train them up from your ranks. Once you've lost all your space, is there anything else occupying your time? You want to prevent yourself from suffering a catastrophe like this again? How about your look within and recover all that infrastructure that you allowed to entropy over the past few years?

Ultimately, the loss of the north is the end of one story - the cost of becoming dependent and lazy in your secure ratting space - and gives you the option of beginning another. Don't squander this opportunity. Don't let the loss of S-EVIQ or BKG be a reminder of your failure. Rather, let it single the rebirth of pride and a call to live up to your histories again.

But that all depends on standing on your own two feet and relying not only Goonswarm of the CFC, but yourselves.


  1. " It’ll love on dotlan, affixed to each system forever, as a constant reminder that your alliances weren’t weak enough to defend them."

    Weren't strong* enough, you mean :P

    " he’s promised juicy tidbits about “what the GSF directorate really thinks about their allies."

    They came out, they're even worse than I imagined.

    "I’m referring more to the members of long-time CFC allies. The founding members of FCON or Razor, for instance. What could be going through their minds. I’ve been gone from Razor for two years, and even now, I’m a little saddened to see S-EVIQ fall to members of a droneland coalition."

    That's what I'm sad for.

    Eve is stories, I think it's fair to say. Eve is being *part* of a legend, a person of myth.

    And there's no myth for this but "We gave up."

    This could've been a war of legends. Now it's a war of myth.

    A war of myth-busting.

    And whilst I'm glad I'm part of it, I can't help but feel a sense of loss.

  2. I'm pretty surprised you didn't put this one on Reddit, but the way today is going, I'm pretty sure that it would've been drowned out.

    1. I tend to plop on the ones where I have something truly magical to say. In this case, it's more in the "musing" category.

  3. And you can now officially add SMA to the "former Imperium" list. Clearly, SMA is leaving Goons as a shell of its former self so the psychological impact of them leaving is greater than the loss of their pilots.

    I also find it ironic that the alliance that started the problems with IWI have now bowed out of the war leaving their former allies to deal with this mess.

  4. There is a larger problem here: if you are a permanent blue of someone, then one of you is redundant. Why have two paralel structures to do the SAME thing? Temporary blues are of course different.

    The moment a coalition is formed, and the decision making was delegated to coalition level, what was left for alliances? Roaming and ratting. These aren't what train good FCs.

    Reset Goons or go Widot are both working options. Being permanently blue and retain your alliance is just not working.