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The Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere and You! August 12, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
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When, during a fleet op on Saturday afternoon my local time, The Mittani asked over Jabber if somebody had an alt handy that could create an alliance.  We immediately began to wondered what was up.

And we had time to wonder, as TEST’s erstwhile allies, who went to the trouble to put the ihub at D4KU-5 into reinforce, couldn’t raise a fleet to finish off the timer, so we were out there repping the ihub in peace.

Repping the ihub

Repping the ihub

Visions of a disgruntled director dissolving TEST and GSF grabbing their alliance name, as happened with Band of Brothers way back when, swam through my head.  Why else would they need somebody to create an alliance on short notice.

But no, we weren’t going to be adding to TEST’s current implosion and retreat to low sec.  We got the word, again through Jabber:

Directorbot: HORRIBLE EXPERIMENTS WITH PUBBIES: Due to the horrors of the Odyssey changes, we are now considering the formerly unthinkable: setting up a CFC-affiliated renter zone, where each entity in the CFC gets ~mad bux~ based on their participation. CCP seems to be forcing everyone into being serf-lords. Give me your best renter-alliance names in gfgbs, with the understanding that “Free Trade Zone” has sadly already been taken.

We’re also going to arrange a ~sales force~ where you can get a cut of the first month’s rent of any renter pubbie corp you help us slot into their ghettoes.

*** This was a broadcast from the_mittani to all-all at 2013-08-10 21:14:04.819616 EVE, replies are not monitored ***

Goonswarm was going into the space rental business.

The name chosen, as seen in the title of this post, was the Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere (ticker: PBLRD).  The name is a reference that had to be explained to those not keeping up.

The irony of the situation is… I don’t know… very ironic?  Irony turned up to 11?

The Goons in particular have been quite vocal in their hate of renters and alliances that fund themselves through renters, to the point that anti-renter propaganda has become a core value of the alliance.  The big April Fool’s joke at The Mittani this year was a mock announcement that Goonswarm was going to start renting space.

But there it was.  A post was up in the Goon forums announcing the plan, complete with imposing charts and graphs detailing the potential upside value in ISK for the whole venture, which you can see here in the public announcement of the plan.  And then the thread lit up.  The first response was:

this is the dumbest thing we could possibly do

And it devolved from there.  As noted, hating renters, and pubbies in general, has a history.  And even trying to cast the whole thing as a bold new way to oppresses the masses in New Eden was not getting many converts.

A new vision

A new vision

And the most bitter pill to swallow had to be the immediate ban on rental scams.  Long have Goon scammers fattened their wallets acting as null sec real estate agents, taking large deposits on the promise of an early move-in date for prime ratting/mining locations.  All of that is now verboten.

In then end, the project was destined to go forward because of the ISK factor.  With moon income being reduced greatly with Odyssey, potential CFC adversaries, all of whom rent space to subsidize their empires, looked to be able to accumulate war chests that would allow them to outspend us in any  future conflict.  The venture has been cast as one required for long term survival.   Plus, you know, ongoing peacetime reimbursements, first carriers free to Goons, and other aspects of space communism.  The Goons will harness the carebears to the yoke.  Gevlon would be proud.

All of which was both interesting and uncomfortable to watch as a Goon ally in the CFC.  Things in the Goon forums tend to be cast entirely in a Goon light, and rightly so.  But as a… pubbie… non-Goon… Goon by association… or whatever the hell I am, I am never quite sure…  with access to their forums, from which almost all my CFC information comes, it isn’t always clear where allies fit in.  Some questions up the chain in my own corp/alliance indicated that this was a CFC-wide initiative and that all alliances in the CFC would share in the bounty in some way.

Now there is just the details of making the whole thing work.  As part of an ongoing educational plan, there is a good post up describing how null sec rental empires operate in EVE Online, which includes some information on other such operations.  But there is still a gap in trust to be overcome.  If you have been scammed by Goons in the past, what is the likelihood that you are going to sign up for this, pay the first month’s rental in advance, and then put all your corporate assets in a station that they can lock you out of should the need and/or desire arise?

Because jumping onto that is not going to make you a member of the CFC.  It is not a back door to becoming a Goon ally.  If you are looking for that sort of thing, then you are doing it wrong.

It is even tough to hold up CSM8 member Mynnna, who is driving part of this initiative, as a sign of good faith after The Mittani used his position as CSM chairman as a way to gain trust in order to pull off a number of supercapital escrow scams.  Life with a reputation.

But renting such space can be a way to make a lot of ISK, if you have a corp willing to work the space.  Or multi-box like crazy.

And you can trust me right?  Hah!  I will have to see what this sales force option is, since I could use the ISK for my capital ship plans.   And my corporation explicitly forbids scamming in their bylaws.

The upshot of all of this is that it looks like renters will become a key financing method for all major null sec power blocs.  And since wars are often about money… see the stated reason for the invasion of Fountain… I expect that renters will become a greater focus in conflicts going forward.  That was one of the forum proposals, that rather than renting we just go interdict the opposition’s renters in order to level the ISK playing field.  That did not fly on its own, but I am sure it will be part of the plan going forward.

Personally, I am mostly looking forward to seeing “Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere” appear on the null sec influence map.  Well, that and ongoing ship reimbursements.  I am all for that.

Comments»

1. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 12, 2013

As an aside, I am surprised at the number of times I see/hear Gevlon come up in discussions on coms. Nobody ever invokes his name in a flattering way, but he is clearly space famous at this point. I even saw The Mittani refer to him the other day.

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2. Aufero - August 12, 2013

Given the history of scams involving both Goons in general and Mittens in particular, anyone who’s been playing Eve long enough to afford this deal would have to be insanely stupid to take them up on it.

I don’t anticipate this being a problem. Let the drama begin!

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3. flosch - August 12, 2013

I’m very curious what will become of this. I can equally imagine a horrible crash-and-burn fail and an “everything went better than expected”. I’d be at least a little bit worried if I were in your alliance, though. Alliances such as Razor probably will be big enough to stay “Friendly Non-Goon First Degree” for a long time (barring some EVE-typical skullduggery). Smaller alliances will have to make sure that they won’t drop on the care scale to “Friendly Non-Goons Second Degree” or even worse, on a level with renters. To give an example from my neighborhood: Making sure to stay Braunschweig rather than become Nassau (both having been small principalities, with the latter being annexed by Prussia at some point, the former staying an independent state in Germany [until waaay later]).

Besides, I might be the only person who had an idea where the alliance name came from (I didn’t know the English translation, but it’s close enough, so…), but is stumped by the ticker. PBLRD? Pub… lard? lol real dumb? what’s up with that?

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4. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 12, 2013

@flosch – Publord: A Goon term for pubbies who disagree with the prevailing Goon line on an issue. Go and start a threadnaught on the EVE forums about banning suicide ganking (any post on that will become a threadnaught) and you will be a publord.

You should not confuse my inability to tell which way the wind blows with our alliance being on the outs. The tale is that we are a trusted and valued ally because of willingness to commit to war and participate as well as our low amount of drama. We have also been sitting on much of our Deklein sov since before the Goons showed up in the region.

That doesn’t mean TNT cannot screw things up, but Wibla keeps a tight lid on things and purges people who could screw things up without mercy.

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5. flosch - August 12, 2013

Oh, I didn’t mean that it’s absolutely bound to happen. If the Goons want to be successful in the renter business, they’ll probably have to work on their public relations, and kicking out a long-term ally who’s simply to small to stand any chance against the Goons on its own probably… won’t help. You might be safe because kicking you out does more harm for the renter business than the handful of systems do good. This being EVE, it might just not work that way.

Then again, that’s probably the case either way, and was even before these news. ;)

And… hey? I can be a lord? I always wanted to be a lord!

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6. tithian - August 12, 2013

So basically, CFC is becoming BoB?

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7. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 12, 2013

@tithian – You have to say, “literally” becoming BoB, like people in the forum thread, to get full points.

But if you are an advanced thinker, I suspect you can get ahead of the game and get some good reference points with a phrase like, “The CFC has literally always been BoB.”

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8. flosch - August 12, 2013

You forgot the scamming! CFC is like BoB, but with scamming. :P

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9. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 12, 2013

@flosch – No, “like BoB, but with scamming” is too soft a line for those who oppose the rental scheme. And they banned a popular form of scamming because of this. I think the optimum bumper sticker reaction for the opposition is:

“We are literally BoB now”

It stings, is loaded with plenty of implications if you possess the correct knowledge (so insulting AND elitist at the same time!), and it is just five words.

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10. cwm999 - August 12, 2013

We won’t be BoB until we disband our current coalition, make our current allies renters and then force them to defend their own space while we ignore them to focus on our kugu posting.

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11. Gaff - August 12, 2013

I am taking rental applications, gaff10@yahoo.com. You get a shoutout on TAGN. Trust me, I’m board approved. Be the first PubLord on your block with a confirmed cloaky camper!

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12. Mitt - August 12, 2013

If you train Goonions to do as they’re told, and teach them for years to hate renters, becoming landlords is going to rankle. What other bits of manufactured Goonoganda might they begin to question?

In other news, we have always rented out Oceania.

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13. Mekhios - August 12, 2013

I find it a puzzling decision on the part of the Goons. Unless there is some grand strategy involved why not just draw on existing membership of the CFC (which has massive manpower) and ask if any alliance wants to move into the region to conduct R64 operations?

Or is it simply that most CFC’ites are not interested in industry and there is a shortfall of these types of players?

If I was an alliance member of CFC I would be very worried. As a friend of mine in Convicted discovered it isn’t always wise to dance with the devil no matter the perceived benefits. That goes for any alliance who isn’t part of the core Goon conglomerate.

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14. bhagpuss - August 13, 2013

Reading this is like being on drugs. I only understand about one word in three but it all seems incredibly….important.

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15. tithian - August 13, 2013

@Wilhelm

damn, I knew I was missing something

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16. Potshot - August 14, 2013

“And my corporation explicitly forbids scamming in their bylaws.”

Sweet Jeebus! We have bylaws?!?!11one one

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17. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 14, 2013

@Potshot – In a fit of curiosity I dug up all I could about our corp at one point. There were all sorts of rules. I have since forgotten most of them, though I recall quite a few dealt with sheep and avoiding the Welsh. What we get for being in a English corp.

Can’t recall where I found them. Somewhere on our awful web site I think. Maybe hidden in the forums where nobody is likely to see them.

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