The true enemy of organizations in null sec are not hostile in your systems, or SBUs on your gates, or bad fleet doctrines.
The real killer is entropy, the slow wasting away of your corporation or alliance or coalition until it is just a shell of its former self.
Me, September 2013
That was some “deep” insight from me after being in null sec for a little less than two years. Still, it is true enough, and the story of null sec has its share of tales about once mighty groups that wasted away from within then crumbled when the next crises that came along. And that applies to any gaming group or guild in any game. If people stop showing up for your party eventually the party is going to get cancelled.
This time it has come around to where I live. In early December we got a note indicating that our corp, Black Sheep Down, would be closing up shop.
This was not a huge surprise. We had never been a big group to begin with and never had as an aim to become one. Our corp, born amongst some guild drama back in 2013, was an off-shoot of the first null sec corp I was in, BSC Legion. It was actually the same tale of diminishing numbers and flagging participation that led a group to splinter off and form the new corp, Black Sheep Down. I recorded all of this in a blog post, naturally enough.
Now, about six years down the road, the wheel has come around and the new corp has run down.
There was no need to rush off. The corp will linger on in the alliance for a while to allow people to find a place to land and, as such, I stuck about for December. I noticed that somebody had made me a corp director as part of this, clearly a mistake, and I abused this and spent some time making awards. I paid for them, and awarded some to the old hands who were still around. But there were also some SIG things going on in December and I didn’t want to leave until they were done because when you change corps in the Imperium it resets all your memberships and you have to go back and re-apply to everything.
Eventually though I will need a new corp, and with the new year upon us it is probably about time to get started.
There is a default choice. A corp in TNT with the name Dynamite is acting as something of a consolidation option for some of the smaller groups, including our old corp BSC Legion, which showed back up in TNT after some adventures elsewhere, including a stint in Circle of Two alliance.
That is the easy option, one that maintains the status quo for me. If I am not too keen on it as an option, it is mostly because I have been a pretty bad corp mate for the last few years. I mostly fly with the SIGs and squads, and have since Reavers formed up a little over five years ago. So not only do I not hang out of fly with my corp, I end up mostly playing in a very GSF-centric world.
So perhaps the obvious option would to find a spot in a GSF corporation. That would solve a few deployment related issues, like stuff being listed on alliance contracts when I am not in that alliance or the ever popular “I linked it in alliance chat.” I even have a 2008 date on my Something Awful account, so I could try to bluff my way into the inner sanctum of the true Goons that is GoonWaffe. But I doubt I could pull it off.
Instead KarmaFleet is probably the best option. They have taken half a dozen people I have thrown their way including SynCaine, Brent from VirginWorlds, and Darren of the old Common Sense Gamer. I ought to have a chance there, and their participation requirements are low enough that even in the midst of peace time ennui I ought to be able to clear them without feeling pressured.
That would maintain the status quo for me… so long as I can get back into the various SIGs I was in. I’m in a couple of informal ones that I fell into at one point or another that I will have to figure out.
But the status quo is a bit stale right now. The Imperium isn’t in any wars and nothing appears to be on the horizon. The latest “keep the troops happy” initiative involves running about in wormhole space. Other than that there is homeland defense and the occasional roam. But war and its relentless tempo is what has kept me going for much of my time in null sec.
So I could pack up all of my stuff, have it shipped to Jita, drop my affiliation with the Imperium, and go find a null sec group that is actually fighting… and who will take me. Eight years in the CFC/Imperium makes me an unlikely spy, right? Also, even after all of this time in New Eden and in null sec I am a bit of a scrub with an unimpressive kill board. I swear, if the average FC just shouted “Wilhelm, turn your UI back on!” two or three times during a fleet op they would very likely be correct in suggesting that I was once again “staring out the window” at space and spaceships with the UI hidden. I just like looking at the game and the ships in flight and the pretty explosions sometimes… which can get in the way of things like putting reps on people. My bad. So I would need to find somebody desperate or with a low barrier to entry.
Then, leaving aside my dubious alliance history and lack of demonstrable game skill, who would even be worth joining? TEST? Pandemic Horde? Darkness? Somebody else? Where is the war at? Which way to the front?
So something to think about here in the new year.
I do know that if I decide to dump the whole null sec thing I’ll probably just stop playing. The territorial aspect of null sec, and the histories that have grown up around it, interest me in a way that missions or holiday events or random roams just to shoot strangers in the face completely fail to.