“They Sow the Wind, and Reap the Whirlwind”
From Hosea 8:1-14
When Hulkageddon IV – Tears of Veldspar wrapped up back in February of 2011, the kill tally stood at 843 exhumers and 574 mining barges destroyed.
That was actually represented a serious dip in the number of mining ships destroyed over the previous even, Hulkageddon III – Summer of Gank, which took place in July of 2010.
The Summer of Gank left more than 1,700 exhumers and 700 mining barges destroyed. That total was an uptick from Hulkageddon II – Event without a Tag Line, which saw over 1,200 exhumer and 300 mining barge wrecks in its wake.
So it seemed, perhaps, that Hulkageddon was losing its luster after its fourth run. Maybe people were getting tired of the event? Some said it must be dead.
That, plus the long delay between announcing Hulkageddon V and the actual kick off of the event… I posted that it was “coming soon” back in early November… made me wonder how big of a success the event would be. (Depending on how you calculate success, of course.)
Apparently, I need not have been concerned.
A look at the Hulkageddon V leader board, just one week into the month long event, shows that it has already surpassed previous Hulkageddon destruction totals, with just over 2,000 exhumers and nearly 1,200 mining barges wrecked in the asteroid belts around New Eden. That adds up to about 650 billion ISK in damage. The leading killer in the event is closing in on the 150 exhumer mark, which means he already has 1.4 billion ISK in prize money headed his way.
Hulkageddon V is already the most destructive Hulkageddon ever, which makes me wonder “why?” What is driving this event to exceed previous records of destruction? What factor, or combination of factors, is driving this on?
Could it be the Goonswarm Federations adding to the list of prizes, so that there is an automatic payout of 100 million ISK to players for every 10 exhumers they destroy?
Is it the Goonswarm sponsorship itself? Has their involvement gotten more players out of null sec and into gank ships in high sec, either through patriotic fervor or a desire to support the OTEC stranglehold on technetium? (Remember how much technetium it takes to make a Hulk or a Mackinaw exhumer. Paying out essentially 10 million per exhumer destroyed still likely nets the cartel a decent profit on replacements.)
Is this blood lust a direct result of the EVE Fanfest controversy? Is the desire to blow up miners in empire space a manifestation of a growing divide between the PvP and PvE players in EVE?
Did the Burn Jita event fan the flames of destruction? Did it offer up a taste for blood that was left unsated by the short duration of the carnage?
Is this just a matter of enough time having gone by since the last Hulkageddon that players are keen to get into it? Has the timing been just right for the event this time around?
Or is it some combination of the above driving Hulkageddon V to be the most destructive on record? Have we indeed sown the wind and now must be ready to reap the whirlwind?
And what is the post-Hulkageddon New Eden going to be like? Something to ponder.
Meanwhile, in an effort to cash in on the portended sharp rise in prices in the mineral market, I have gotten my own Hulk out of storage and have begun looking into mining in null sec, where Hulkageddon is not an issue. Nobody needs to gank in 0.0 space, if they are a not a friend, you’d shoot at them (or run away) the moment they showed up.
Of course, in the grand tradition of EVE Online, nothing is ever as easy as you think it is going to be. But that is a subject for another post.
Anyway, what do you think is driving the event to new highs (or lows, if you prefer) this year?