Contemplating that Last Stand at VFK-IV

After the black week that was last week for The Imperium, which saw many billions in ship losses, sovereignty taken from us, and the evacuation of a whole region, our foes, the self-proclaimed “Allies” (or the “Moneybager Coalition”) have been beside themselves with joy.  If you wander over to the EVE Online subreddit, it is full of propaganda and self-congratulation to the point that an outsider might consider that the war is over.

It almost feels like the bottled up emotion of years of losing to Goons at places like B-R5RB and 6VDT-H, years of being being driven from this region or that (or being driven out of Delve repeatedly in some cases), has been released and everybody there has burst into a rousing rendition of “Ding-dong the Witch is Dead!”  The “VFK by Date X!” meme has been revived yet again.

The wrecks with the red sun in the background

They even built a monument to our victory… and I was there

However, that metaphorical witch is far from dead.  Even some of the joyful news being presented isn’t all that good for our foes.  For example, cheers about Razor losing a huge chunk of players might seem less of an event to toast if you were paying attention and noticed that those players moved to The Bastion. (From DOTLAN)


The alliance that is losing its home in Vale of the Silent actually grew.

Meanwhile, there is a long road ahead for anybody planning on defeating The Imperium.  Even without Vale of the Silent, there are a lot of towers left to reinforce, a lot of entosis work to be done, a lot sovereignty left to grind.  The “Allies” have their work cut out for them.

As I said last week, that alone gives me hope.  As a coalition, we have a reputation for being able to hold out and grind through such things.  Our endurance for the arguably un-fun aspects of sovereignty warfare is prodigious.  Forming at all hours of the clock is no big deal, boredom is our friend, time dilation is practically our natural environment.

Our foes… not so much.  They couldn’t even camp the Vale evac effectively; an opportunity lost.

TEST at least wants sovereignty in the north, something nobody else seems to care about.  They will at least stick around on that basis alone.

Pandemic Legion and NCDot want fights, not sov.  However, unless they want to fight Russians, they don’t have a lot of other choices if they want to bring their supers into play.  They’ll be around for a while.

But everybody else on the bandwagon… well, we’ll see how long they stick with things once it gets down to nightly entosis runs and whole fleets sitting on a single node watching that one guy with the Fozzie laser orbit his target.

And then there is the wildcard in the whole scenario.  CCP will be introducing citadels into the game soon, and nobody knows how that will change the face of the war.  But it is a big enough feature to make Gevlon rage quite the game.  I guess Mordus Angles is going to want some of that IWantISK largess soon.

I am not all that prone to pseudo-patriotism and jingoist pronouncements.  It is an uncertain time.  War has come to our homes at last.  Tribute, my own home region, is now on the front lines.  Outcomes are not certain.  We could lose.

But I also believe what I have written here has a basis in fact, born out by the history of the game and our coalition.  We certainly haven’t lost yet.  The login page for my iPad has a screen shot of the north from back when I joined TNT and entered null sec and a lot of us lived together in a much smaller space, at war with White Noise and Raiden, with NCDot on our flank.

The core of the CFC of old

The core of the CFC of old

We have a ways to go before we’re shrunk back to that small of a space again.

If we do lose, I want to be there when it happens.  If my corporation falters, I’ll join another.  If our alliance gives up, I’ll join KarmaFleet.  And if we end up with our own last battle, our own 6VDT-H, I hope I’ll be able to undock and join the fight.

One of the more fatuous questions that keeps coming up on Reddit is “Why?”  Why fly, fight, or whatever for the people so heavily vilified on Reddit, as though that were some objective measure of the world, as though, to put it bluntly, their own shit didn’t stink.

Still, there is an answer.

For about four and a half years at this point a small group of people, the “leadership” for whatever value you care to ascribe to that, has spent a lot of time setting up a situation where a space tourist like me could log in and experience null sec for better and worse.  And, more specifically, whole pile or fleet commanders have logged on night after night, people like Laz and Reagalan and Asher and MisterVee and Lyris and Papusa and Boat… very much Boat… have formed fleets and undocked to shepherd people like me around through the various aspects of the null sec experience and, even when I do stupid things, don’t kick me out or refuse to take me along.

What kind of person would I be if I turned my back on them the moment the going looked rough?  So I have nailed my colors to the mast and will go down with this ship if it comes to that.

Plus, you know, it is fun to be part of space history.  Nobody writes books about Faction Warfare or low sec gate camps.

We shall see what happens at M-OEE8 today.

14 thoughts on “Contemplating that Last Stand at VFK-IV

  1. Mynxee (@Mynxee)

    Enjoyable post. I’m sure there is a level of stress involved for leadership in your alliance/coalition, but as an outsider, I think all of this is pretty interesting to watch from the sidelines! And even from the edges in systems where I happen to be wandering when a fight occurs. I hope whatever the outcome, there is plenty of fun and stories that come out of the whole shebang for all involved.


  2. bhagpuss

    I imagine every regular TAGN reader feels they’ve flown with DBRB, somehow.

    Not to compare apples and oranges but I very much empathize with your “my team, rain or shine” reaction. After a journey from plucky underdog through running joke to our current reviled status as the embodiment of all that represents the ruination of the entire game, I, too, would go to the last barricade with the names I’ve fought alongside for nearly four years.

    You don’t quit just because you’re losing. Nor just because you’re winning, either, which I personally find more difficult. Even when everyone else hates you and all you stand for. Especially then.


  3. anon

    Well, some of the basics don’t change. You cannot trully defeat a foe that is still loggin regularly. Heck, you could argue that for the most memorable entities, even when they stop loggin and failcascade, there is a good change they will resurface in the furture in one form or another.

    … and I’m skeptical about Gevlon; high chances he’s pulling a Tobold.


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I feel like I have accomplished something when I refer to him as “Boat” and you correctly identify him as “DBRB.” I’m not sure what that accomplishment is really, but there it is.


  5. SynCaine

    Awww the Tackle Titan is quitting? That could be a really serious blow to Goons, losing such a big source of entertainment. But as Anon mentioned, my guess is he is just Tobolding, especially because were else is he going to be a human AH bot? The MMO kiddie pool of WoW?


  6. Jonathan

    @Syncaine – Don’t be silly. Gevlon is leaving because CCP has decided to route one of the largest ISK sinks into the game directly into the pockets of the largest sov holders. Back of the envelope calculations show that this very probably will allow entities such as Imperium / CFC to trivially replace whelped supercap fleets.

    Dislike Gevlon all you want, but this part of the game is his wheelhouse. I think it truly bears watching. But if he is correct, and someone — CFC / PL / someone — basically gets a tremendous economic boost over the entire rest of the game, he won’t be alone. He’ll just be a bit ahead of the pack.


  7. SynCaine

    His wheelhouse? You are talking about someone who hauled badgers for weeks and might STILL be selling skill books. Gevlon has a lot of ISK not because he is truly talented at it or exceptionally smart; he has it because he is literally a human market bot, doing the ultra-tedious work for countless hours, each day, each week, each month, that others don’t want to do (stripping pilots of SP, for example). So no, sorry, I’m not going to get too worked up over someone who hard-argued about the validity of tackle-fit titans for weeks now stomping his feet and getting all worked up about something CCP is planning to do.


  8. Buboe

    Nah. Not this.
    Gevlon has been wrong about a lot of things, including Titan fits, but he’s not often wrong about MMO economies.
    He’s been doing it since the Pink Pigtail Inn was a thing, and he’s consistently changed and optimised how it’s been done, well ahead of the curve. His recent writings say that he’s spending less than an hour a day on the market – much less than someone who is engaged in more traditional PVP
    And if you think that 99% of EVE (MMO) players wouldn’t spend a weekend stripping pilots of SP for a multi-billion payday, then you’re flat wrong.


  9. Raziel Walker

    I never considered CO2 a real part of the CFC anyway so them resetting goons is not a real sign of the Imperium cracking. Now if FCON left I’d be more concerned, those are good pets.


  10. SynCaine

    “And if you think that 99% of EVE (MMO) players wouldn’t spend a weekend stripping pilots of SP for a multi-billion payday, then you’re flat wrong.”

    There is nothing stopping anyone, tedium aside, from doing it. Buying a pilot isn’t an exclusive club or difficult, nor is selling SP. The reason 99% of people DON’T do it, or don’t sell skill books, or haul badgers, is because its beyond boring.

    Most people don’t run missions because they believe it’s the best ISK/HR. They do it because its ISK/HR without wanting to blow your brains out after 15 minutes. Gevlon’s one unique gift is he is immune to the ‘blow your brains out’ effect from tedium.

    To put it more bluntly; if Gevlon was in fact as talented at economics as you believe, why is he not rich in real life? (Spoiler: Because unlike in an MMO, in the real world you don’t get paid top dollar doing menial tasks like SP stripping, you get paid minimum wage. Gevlon is EVE’s ditch digger, and pay is good for that job in a fantasy world, specifically because 99% of us don’t use our leisure time shoveling dirt.)


  11. Buboe

    Or maybe because he lives in Hungary?
    It’s quite easy for you and I, living in Boston and Brisbane to hang shit on Gevlon for being poor.
    But the reality is that geography has a lot to do with this. You think that someone like Gevlon wouldn’t have opportunity if he lived in Silicon Valley instead of Budapest?

    And anyway, this whole conversation is missing my point. gevlon’s influence on MMO economies was (is) transformative.
    Lots of people turned Glyphs into an AH moneymaker, but Gevlon used it to buy a raid spot on a realm #1 guild. Fast forward 5 years, and Gold Buyin Raids are being run on every server.
    No-one thought that you could use ISK to kill Goons – But IWI is doing it, and if you think that Gevlon’s work didn’t influence this, you’re wrong.


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