Tag Archives: Imperium

More than 6,000 Players Clash in X47L-Q as Keepstar Battles Commence in Pure Blind

Yesterday’s post recounted how the Imperium and B3 coalitions had spent the afternoon setting timers on multiple structures, including four of Fraternity’s Keepstars in Pure Blind.

Fraternity Keepstar Locations in the region

The Keepstars were all set to enter their armor timer events, the second of the three shoots required to kill these structures today.  The first event, shooting the shields, can happen at any time.  But subsequent events are set to occur in the time zone the defender has chosen.

Fraternity, the defender, is a largely Chinese based alliance, so their choices were well off of normal business hours here in the US.  The times were:

  • ROIR-Y – 08:34 UTC – 04:34 Eastern / 00:34 Pacific
  • X47L-Q – 10:08 UTC – 06:08 Eastern / 03:08 Pacific
  • F-NMX6 – 12:39 UTC – 08:39 Eastern / 05:39 Pacific
  • 5ZXX-K – 13:48 UTC – 09:48 Eastern / 06:48 Pacific

This was further complicated by the fact that at 2am local time in most locations in the US  Daylight Savings Time began, so the clocks did their annual “Spring Forward.”

Imperium leader Asher Elias asked us to “alarm clock” these ops… get up early, stay up late, whatever… in order to push these structures into their next timers.  I opted to take a nap on Saturday afternoon and then stayed up past midnight to try and go on at least the first op.

When I got on we had more than 2,000 people in our staging system, a number that grew past 3,500 as the first timer approached.

It looked like Fraternity and its allies were not going to contest the first Keepstar in ROIR-Y.  Leshaks were sent in to shoot it for the armor timer.

Leshaks at work on the first Keepstar

I was in Asher’s fleet of Stormbringers, and we jumped in when a small fleet of Tengus from Siege Green, and Frat ally, showed up and picked off a couple of Leshaks on the edge of the formation.

When that was done, we moved on towards X47L-Q, taking up station at one of the gate leading into the system.

Waiting on the X47 gate as bombers took runs at us

X47 is a location where we have fought over Keepstars before.  Back in 2018 we fought many of the same people over a Keepstar in this very system.

This looked to be the system where Frat was going to contest the timer.  As we lingered outside waiting for the timer to get close, Frat and PanFam had collected a good 3K players of their own on the Keepstar.

The X47 Keepstar Awaiting our arrival

Then the word to jump into the system came and the game’s troubles began as more than 6,000 players attempted to have a battle in X47L-Q.  CCP had reinforced the node for us, and was clearly keeping an eye on things.  But past history indicated that we were likely in for a mess.

CCP unironically using the word “Breaking” as we tried to set fire to the server.

Things were moving very slowly as we tried to load into the system, and once people got into the system, commands were taking up to ten minutes to get a response.  The savvy in the crowd had hit shift-control-alt-M to bring up the Outstanding Commands window to keep an eye on if the server was processing inputs.

past 6 minutes trying to lock two targets

Our structure shooting fleet, the Leshaks, got into the system and got with range of the Keepstar, but ran into one of our old known issues.  While everybody else was moving at 10% speed due to Time Dilation, which CCP uses to slow things down so the server can try to keep up, structure timers do not slow down.

So we had 15 real time minutes to start shooting while 6 seconds of game time was taking 6 minutes to execute… if your commands made it into the queue to be processed… so by the time they could start locking up the structure it was too late.

6K people in space around a structure though, a fight was going to happen and the Leshaks started brawling with a Paladin fleet.  We were going to get something out of all of this.

However, we were heading for another timer.  at 11:00 UTC every day is downtime, when CCP restarts the cluster.  Everybody gets kicked off the servers when that happens, and that time was rapidly approaching.

I was within range of some stuff on the Keepstar and trying to lock up some of the Paladins when downtime hit.

As close as I got

And the big log off came.

Downtime arrives

Pings went out to log back in as soon as possible to continue the fight.  We had invested the time, we were going to blow things up or go out in a blaze of glory.  The server, however, had other ideas.  While the cluster was up again soon enough, X47 itself was having problems.

At first the server was still loading.

Character selection failed

Then it was reporting as stuck.

The server is not happy

The EVE Status Twitter account was reporting that they were working on the issues, but that they were present.

I was able to get in fairly soon, maybe 20 minutes after downtime ended, when a lot of other people were piling in as well.  The server number climbed well past 3K again and I was on the Keepstar watching people who had been safety warped off returning to their locations, landing on grid.

And I decided it was time to call it a night.  Or a morning, it being nearly 04:30 local time.  I set myself to dock in the Fortizar we had in the system and was able to warp off and get tethered, but I declined to wait to get docked and went to bed, leaving the game up.

I came back this morning to find I had been disconnected.  But I was safely docked up.  I can leave my ship there and jump clone back to our staging.

You can see that there were a lot more people online than usual before downtime on the server graph from EVE Offline.  There were 26K people online then, and more than 6K were in X47, with even more in surrounding systems.  Pure Blind was a popular location.

EVE Offline player graph

You can see people trying to get online, then some trouble as we all got kicked out of the system again later on.

At its peak I saw numbers in local well past 6.1K.  The highest I screen shotted was 6,115.

Character in the system – 6,115

In the end Fraternity and its allies saved their Keepstar and without a doubt won the ISK war, as a lot of us were blown up on the Keepstar or trying to escape.

But the evening was not a total loss for the Imperium and B2 Coalition.  We managed to set the timers on the other three Keepstars, so the final hull timer fights will be coming this week at some early morning hour.  We shall see.

There is more to this story, including some word of a roll-back for the X47 system that did not restore ships that were destroyed but which pulled back people who had escaped from the system.  I do not know any details, but I suspect there will be more news about this as the day unfolds.  This, however, is all I have in me for the story this morning.  I may need a nap today.

Addendum:

Early battle reports for the active systems in Pure Blind show close to 370 billion ISK destroyed.

Battle Report Header

The Imperium and B2 Coalition make up almost 300 billion of that amount, most of it no doubt on the Keepstar grid in X47.

Somebody worked on another battle report that filtered out the third parties into their own column (Team A) and expanded the range of the battle to include the systems where four Fraternity Fortizars were lost during the same time frame.  There was a lot going on.

Realted:

The Long March Northward to War

We’re going to go live in interesting times.

-Asher Elias, State of the Goonion

If you are one of those people who hate it when r/eve gets taken over by null sec bloc propaganda wars, I have some bad news for you; war were declared.

This is no surprise to those who were paying attention, and even some who were not.  As I noted last week, the Imperium had not been coy about what Saturday’s State of the Goonion was generally about, telling members to be ready for move ops immediately following the address, listing out doctrines that will be used, and generally ramping everybody up to be ready for war.

Asher, sounding somewhat subdued to getting over a cold, gave the traditional short address that has become the format of choice over the years.  His words were broadcast both on Mumble and over the Imperium News Twitch channel.

Waiting for Asher to speak

We are headed north to link up with B2 Coalition, which has been defending itself from Fraternity for many months now, to push back on WinterCo and PanFam.  Pretty much what I guessed last week, it being the obvious choice.  The war is being framed, once again, as a battle against the landlord alliances represented by WinterCo and PanFam.  Not a new spin, but a solid one.  The Imperium and B2 Coalition both stand against rental empires… we’ll ignore the former FI.RE alliances now in B2 that were landlords up until fairly recently… so that is the dividing line between the two factions.

The only detail left was where we would be staging.  For the answer to that it was time for a move op.

Move op fleets were put up shortly after the SotG ended, with three capital move fleets being announced.  Those quickly filled up… I managed to get in one… and two more were announced in order to find space for those headed north.

Unlike a lot of past move ops, where I have just gone out in a single sub cap, the advance notice of doctrines and such allowed me to get ready.  I had my Ninazu packed and fueled up, the fleet bay packed with sub cap hulls… this was so much easier due to changes that allow refit modules to be in the cargo of ships being carried… and I was in a move fleet and ready to go.

But these things take time.  We were pushing close to 1,500 ships through the pipe that leads from Delve up to Fade.  While that is only 18 jumps with Ansiblex connections… something you could do in about 20 minutes in an interceptor… getting all of us through in ships from shuttles and frigates all the way up to titans was going to take more time.

We waited for our fleets to be called so we could move by groups, making each hop and gate jump along the way in our turn.  As it so happened, the fleet I chose was the last of the group to be told to undock, but we were all ready when the word finally came.

Capitals undocking from the Keepstar

Then it was on to the well trod route between Delve and Fade, one I have taken many times in the last dozen years, such that I know the system names and can remember events that occurred in most of them.  The first jump was to the boarder between Delve and Fountain, and the through the regional gate.

Pushing through the regional gate to Fountain while sub caps cover

Then there are the traditional four systems in Fountain, Y-2ANO, KVN-36, C-N4OD, and J5A-IX.  In a sub cap that is quick set of systems.  With capital fleets it can been fairly rapid, because they can take the Ansiblex jump gates, so don’t have to worry about jump timers and such.  But when you have supers and titans, too large for the Ansiblex system, there is a jump and then a wait, and then another jump.

But the waits were not too long, the timers ran down quickly enough, and we were soon at the far end of Fountain, pushing through into Cloud Ring, the nebula for which it was named being obvious in the sky around us.

Last exit from Fountain

In Cloud Ring things get a little more difficult.  While the region is now held by an Imperium Alliance, Shadow Ultimatum, it is also an easy region to slip into and there are a couple of groups who love to camp the Ansiblex route, looking for easy prey.

My Ninazu making a warp seemingly alone

And, of course, the jump timers started getting longer and longer with every jump.  We had enough fleet mass to push through.

So many caps to draw that the Fortizar took a minute to appear

By then we were pretty close, though the last jump timer was about 30 minutes for many of us.  It wasn’t much longer until we were in Fade and landing at our destination, the last system in Face, on the boarder with both Pure Blind and Deklein, where an Imperium Keepstar was ready for us.  That puts us within easy reach of those two regions and Tribute as well.

The operational tempo has yet to really kick off, though I did jump into a fleet that reinforced a Fraternity Fortizar that was close by.  First shots fired and all of that.

Structure Shoots are our bread and butter

I did go along with a later move op to get an alt on a second account up north.  I activated a second account for the war and have my main combat alt up there now who can fly most of ships I brought up.  I just brought him up in a bomber in the sub cap fleet that was covering the next surge of capitals northward.

Once again at the sun

This became important because our staging system is within jump range of where Reavers had staged a few months back.  Not much came of that deployment, but I had moved ships up to that in an Apostle, so I wanted to get it and all of my ships there jumped to the new location and then have my alt to hand because I now had two capitals deployed and will eventually need him to fly one of them home.

So now I have two faxes and 20 sub caps deployed, and I don’t want to have to bring them all home.

So we are off and running.  We are settling in at the front and now two pairs of blocs, the major powers in null sec, are squared off in a somewhat more even match up when compared to World War Bee, where it was the Imperium versus just about everybody.

I am not sure what the war is going to be called, but we all seem to be ready for it.

There is a video of some of the first move op, with music and some of Asher’s address overlayed, that gives a sense of what a move op can be like.

Now to see how this plays out.  EVE had 31,329 on at prime time during the move op, the highest point since the launch of Uprising.  A good war could bring more life to the game… and destruction always stimulates the economy.

Related:

  • Reddit – The top comment of this post is a good summary of the situation
  • Reddit – Brave video about the war

War Looms for the Imperium Once More

As I noted at the end of my month in review post earlier this week, the Imperium has a State of the Goonion (SotG) address coming up this weekend.  Unlike the weekly fireside meeting, a SotG has evolved over the years to have a simple purpose: to kick off a deployment.

Despite a reputation for bloviation that past Imperium leaders may have developed due to their time spent on Twitch, these meeting have for years been short and to the point.  They are about deploying to a war.  They run for as long as it takes the essential information to be announced, then move ops are put together, and the coalition begins deploying for a new conflict.

Generally the announcement of a coming SotG comes with an reminder to be there and be ready to for move ops immediately following.

This time around any attempts to be coy have been dispensed with.  New doctrines were announced and contracts for the required ships were put up on the market while the call to poke you inactive corp mates, resubscribe alts, and get your last bit of crabbing in have been part of the messaging in the run up to the SotG.

The only things that have not been announced are who the target will be and where we will be staging from.

And even the former seems knowable with a bit of logic applied.  There are a limited number of possible opponents in null sec that would call for a full Imperium deployment.  Basically, there are three. B2 Coalition, PanFam, and WinterCo.

It says “B2 Coalition” but it is BOSS, Brave, and BL0B I thought

The Imperium, while not blue currently, has been cooperating with the B2 Coalition in the northwest of null sec, allowing the remnants of FI.RE to pass through Imperium space to join them and coordinating on the occasional fight, like the Fortizar fight in Pochven.  We do not have any real beef with them.

Meanwhile, the Imperium and PanFam have come to a settlement on the southeast of null sec, the space that FI.RE abandoned when they moved to join B2 which, among other things, set up a neutrally aligned buffer zone between the two blocs, securing that flank for both parties.  Why squander the diplomatic effort used to create that if we were just going to attack?

Which leaves WinterCo, headed by Fraternity, which holds a lot of the north and northeast of null sec.  They are also involved in an ongoing struggle with B2 Coalition, so there is a conflict already in progress.

So I suspect that we will be joining B2 Coalition in a temporary alliance to push back WinterCo.  More than suspect, really.  There are not any other logical options.  Certainly r/eve seems to have jumped straight to that conclusion.

The Keepstar where our move ops will start on Saturday after the SotG

Then there is the question about where we will be staging.  That is one thing the line members are never told until we arrive there.  But even that offers up some limited choices.

There are, of course, some low sec avenues of approach to Fraternity’s territory which, among other things, have the advantage of being easily resupplied from Jita.  Always a plus.  So we could come up from Hakonen like we tried back in 2017, to assail Tribute from the south.

Or we could try to set up shop near Obe in The Forge to take a run at Fraternity’s core territory, which would draw forces away from B2 Coalitions front, granting them more likelihood of success.

But I think we are more likely to want to coordinate directly with B2.  That means, following the paths of past campaigns, setting up in Pure Blind in the NPC null sec systems and driving into Tribute from there.

There are other options… I could see us using a B2 system for staging if we were going to blue them for the duration of the conflict… and other routes we could possibly pursue.  We might be set to squash that pocket of space WinterCo holds in the south of null sec.  But Pure Blind seems the most likely.   And handy.  I still have stuff sitting in an NPC station in Pure Blind.

The question is what will PanFam get up to if things play out this way.  They have been saying they are not allied with WinterCo, that they have been showing up at fights between WinterCo and B2 just to “third party,” though they seem to favor shooting B2 targets.

If they show up on the side of WinterCo we could see some serious battles in the north in the coming weeks.

Southeastern Null Sec Declared Open to Non-Bloc Alliances

With the exit of FI.RE from the southeast of null sec, the open question has been what will happen to the territory that they evacuated?

Null Sec Coalitions Map and the FI.RE exit route

Neither adjacent bloc, PanFam in the northeast and the Imperium in the southwest, seemed interested in the space and but were unhappy with the idea that it would fall under the control of the other.  Meanwhile the area has already started to fall apart after FI.RE’s departure looking at the sov maps.

The Coalition map of the southeast

It was announced yesterday that PanFam and its allies and the Imperium have come to an agreement, along with WinterCo, and signed a treaty that will limit bloc expansion into the southeast of null sec.

The treaty covers the following regions in the southeast:

  • Scalding Pass
  • Detorid
  • Wicked Creek
  • Immensea
  • Omist
  • Feythabolis
  • Insmother (partial)
  • Tenerifis (partial)

The partial zones are due to Pademic Horde and Slyce taking some systems on their boarder in Insmother.

PanFam’s cut of Insmother from DOTLAN

Likewise, the Imperium is taking some systems in Tenerifis that are adjacent to its territory.

The Imperium’s grab in Tenerifis from DOTLAN

The agreement states that Those regions are now open for unaffiliated alliances to use, meaning alliances that are not affiliated with any of the four major blocs (B3, Imperium, PanFam, Winterco).

The major blocs can still roam through the area for content, but they have agreed not to take sides in any conflict within the area and to not attack sovereignty or structures of those who take up residence in the area.

In addition, no rental activity of any sort will be allowed within the designated region.

The agreement is slated to last for one year, at which point those party to the agreement can decide whether to extend it or not.

The signatories to the agreement are:

  • Asher Elias of The Imperium
  • Dark Shines of The Initiative.
  • Gobbins of Pandemic Horde
  • Hedliner of Pandemic Legion
  • Noraus of Fraternity, leader of WinterCo
  • Riotrick of Slyce
  • Vince Draken of Nothern Coalition

Not represented as signatories were any of B3 coalition’s leadership.  B3 resides in the northeast of null sec and includes many of the former FI.RE members who fled the southeast, so perhaps their agreement to leave the area alone was implied already.

The idea seems to be to allow space for smaller groups to come to and explore sovereign null sec.  How it will play out remains to be seen.

Before World War Bee the Imperium used to use Querious as an incubator region for small alliances wishing to try and spread their wings.  Querious Fight Club, as it was called, had specific rules to keep groups from being destroyed quickly, enforced by the long arm of the Imperium.  However the war washed all of that away and Querious has since become a home to core Imperium members.

How the southeast will fare under the new treaty remains to be seen.

The Imperium Begins Buying Back War Bonds

The echoes of World War Bee (or Beeitnam, if you prefer) continue to reverberate throughout null sec.  No matter what you thought about it or any of the participants or who won, its influence continues to influence events.  The roots of the recent evacuation of FI.RE, one time PAPI member coalition, from the southeast can no doubt traced back to the war and how it fell out in the end.

History is not a series of discreet dates but a continuum of connected events.

So we’re back to talking about the war today because of an announcement that the Imperium has made over the last couple of weeks regarding the bonds it issued during the war.

The war was expensive, and all the more so at the end of 2020 and the beginning to 2021 when the Imperium was not just losing structures, but had been involved in the first battle at M2-XFE which saw about 250 titans destroyed, split about evenly between the PAPI and the Imperium, which represented something close to 30 trillion ISK destroyed in an evening.

The opening shots of the first battle of M2-XFE

The Imperium needed to replace those titans.

It also needed to buy quantum cores, the new addition to dockable Upwell structures that CCP added in order to combat proliferation and to incentivize the destruction of those player owned structures by making them not only more expensive, but but giving them a valuable guaranteed drop when they were blown up.

The Quantum Core Price List

All structures would require cores starting on January 12, 2021.

So the grind of war, the loss of titans, the need to core structures, along with the suppression of income with hostiles invading our space but an enormous amount of financial pressure on the coalition.  In order to cope with that, the Imperium chose to issue war bonds to keep any ISK liquidity issues at bay.

The coalition used the corporation shares system in the game to setup an offering with the following parameters.

  • Each share had a face value of 1 billion ISK
  • Each share would pay a dividend of 10% of the share’s value per year, paid in monthly installments due on the 1st of each month (8.33M per share per month)
  • Repurchase of a share by the coalition would be equal to its initial sale price
  • The alliance reserved the right to mature bonds and pay out the face value of shares at any time after the 12th payment, which was due on 1 January, 2022

Members were being asked to loan the coalition ISK in increments of 1 billion for a minimum of one year at a 10% interest rate.

At the time this was roundly mocked by our foes as a desperation move by the Imperium and those investing ISK were cast as suckers being fleeced by leadership who they suggested would simply take the ISK and run.

Within the Imperium the war bonds campaign was reported to be wildly successful.  I personally bought five shares and received my first dividend payment during the 31st week of the war.

War Bond Dividend #1 plus a 1.25 ISK test payment to check the system

On Wednesday of this week, February 1st, I will receive my 24th dividend payment, which will push the sum total of payments I have banked just past the 1 billion ISK mark.

I should do so well in the real world.

The success of the Imperium war bond campaign even inspired some of our foes to attempt similar offerings to bolster their finances in the face of CCP’s economic austerity plan for New Eden.

The war ended, having petered out over a year back.  Delve has been rebuilt and with CCP finally seeing sense and loosening up the ISK faucets again, there is a sense of prosperity in some quarters.  Even I have been out ratting some, feeling like it was worth my time to earn some ISK.

The Imperium too must be feeling more prosperous, because two weeks back it was announced that the coalition would begin to mature and buy back war bonds for their full face value.

The call went out on the weekly fireside to investors who had purchased a single share to step up and arrange to sell them back for 1 billion ISK each.  A week later that was expanded to investors who held two shares.  It was explained that the program would continue to expand to those who held more shares.

Sitting on five shares I suspect I will be able to get my initial investment back at some point.  Again, in a little over two years I will have turned 5 billion ISK into 6 billion ISK with no effort on my part.

I am not eager to get paid out.  I don’t need the ISK this minute and it will likely just sit in my wallet earning zero interest when I do get paid.  But I understand that the finance team might be keen to use a period of relative peace and prosperity to reduce the financial burden on the coalition.

Because, of course, we need to have everything as ready as possible for the next war… because there will no doubt be a next war at some point.

This is not exactly an exciting bit of EVE Online trivia.  Bonds and investments and dividends seem more like something part of the mundane real world rather than a futuristic internet spaceship games featuring immortal capsuleers fighting battles in the stars.  But it does speak to the complexity of the game, and the game’s economy, that there is a team in the Imperium that handles financial transactions like that.  This is somebody’s virtual space job.

And not being exciting, it isn’t something you’ll likely see written about very often.  I am curious how the bonds issued by other groups during the war turned out.  I’d like to which organizations kept to their commitments and who took the money and ran leaving investors in the lurch.

Another day in New Eden.

FI.RE in Flight! Complete Collapse in the Southeast!

I had just gotten around to writing about the fact that there was a war going on between Pandemic Horde and FI.RE coalition down in the southeast of null sec when the past weekend and now the war seems to have been decided.

For all of its outward bravado, both from its leader and its line members in r/eve, they clearly knew they were in trouble.  They had former allies, Pandemic Horde, attacking them headlong from the north and the a grudge holding Imperium on their western flank not only unlikely to help them out, but actively attacking them in some cases, which left them in an untenable situation.

They could have possibly turtled up and held a single constellation, or at least dragged their foes into an apocalyptic battle, the way the Imperium did in World War Bee, but it isn’t clear if they, as a coalition, have the sort of cohesion and bloody minded stubbornness to pull that off.

Between a rock and a hard place, they could have potentially reached out to Fraternity to join Winter Coalition, with whom they held space with in the southeast previously.  The problem is that PanFam space lies between FI.RE and Fraternity space.  That would have been a trail of tears, a trip of frightful losses to get past a hungry Pandemic Horde.

The other option was the B2 coalition in the northwest, made up of Brave, WE FORM BL0B, and a few other alliance, some of whom were neighbors until WWB shattered Legacy coalition.  But the trail there would be past the Imperium, a hazard all its own.

As it turns out, FI.RE had chosen B2 as a destination, and B2 came to the Imperium looking for passage.  In a world where almost all of null sec turned against us to wage WWB the Imperium has forged new relations.  B2, on our northern boarder, has become a group we can work with.  We are not allies, but we have cooperated with them against the Fraternity/PanFam Axis of the East at H-PA29 in Venal and just last week at Skarkon in Pochven, so we were apparently open to the idea.

On its side of the equation, FI.RE approached the Imperium and “made amends for past wrongs,” the details of which I am sure will come out at some point.  But I am sure it wasn’t cheap.  That allowed the Imperium to grant FI.RE egress from the southeast to join up with its new coalition mates.  A migration is in progress.

Null Sec Coalitions Map and the FI.RE exit route

They got a free pass through our space, but we aren’t helping them out otherwise.  Their structures and sovereignty are all going down.

That leaves the question as to what happens when they exit.  That is a set of eight regions in the southeast of null sec where the owners have run off.

I am sure Pandemic Horde will take some of that space to add to their rental empire.  But will they want to push their border right up against the Imperium?  I am not sure anybody would want to rent that close to the end of the Eye of Terror Ansiblex highway to become content for Goons, and I don’t think Horde is going to move itself down there to protect them.

Perhaps some smaller groups will become a buffer between the two powers.  Or maybe we’ll have Pandemic Horde on our doorstep.  We will have to see how this plays out.

A Brief History of Goon Leadership in EVE Online

With the ascension of Asher Elias to the leadership of Goons in EVE Online, I started wondering about past leaders.

Look for the Goonion label!

They come up now and the in tales, and the more notorious their actions the more likely they are to be mentioned.  But I have zero first hand knowledge of other leaders, aside from Darius JOHNSON showing up in the middle of the Casino War to try and form something of a “true goons” alliance as leader of Ten Dollar Bond, a reference to the fee one needs to pay to become a posting member of the Something Awful forums.

The appeal to purge the alliance of all but “true goons” has been a recurring theme.

There was a whole age of leadership problems and bad decisions that predated the era of The Mittani, which ran from May 2010 until July 2022.  I went to go find out who had been running the show before I arrived.

This meant going to the GoonWiki.

The GoonWiki is… uh… a place of many words.  Or was a place of many words.  It is gone now, having been replaced by a fresh, new wiki full of useful information, but purged of the wealth of information that it contained.

Not that the information was easy to find or of equal value.

Various scribes over the years had taken up the crayon in order to half heatedly record the happenings of a given era… or to rewrite things they felt were unflattering… before wandering off, distracted by some other project or sleep or their everyday lives, leaving behind a largely incoherent and often conflicting collection of writing where dates, names, actual narrative, and any helpful context was thrown by the wayside if the author could make a joke about somebody’s personal grooming habits, drug use, or extreme bad judgement.

It is as though somebody was trying to recreate the writing process for The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as described in the books.

Braver men than I have avoided the place studiously, and wiser have dashed themselves on the rocks of its chaos in a vain attempt to find meaning or explain why naming the alliance SOLODRAKBANSOLODRAKBANSO [LODRA] was funny even for a minute.

And the further back in time you went, the more unlikely the tales seemed… if only due to the coherence issue.

Still, while I cannot explain the origins of the corporate structure, what happened in Syndicate in the proto-alliance era, the relationship between GoonFleet, GoonWaffe, and GoonPlatoon, or why one individual or another was put in charge at any given time, I managed to put together something akin to a timeline, which I have broken down into some arbitrary eras.

Origins

The pre-alliance era, when there were several corporations.  Remedial is judged to have been the first leader of the unified tribes, though leadership was clearly not taken all that seriously for a stretch.

  • September 2005 – October 2005? – Remedial
  • Somebody else maybe?
  • December 2005 – Tribal Overture
  • December 2005 – Yeep
  • December 2005 Firstname Lastname
  • December 2005 – February 2006 – Remedial
  • February 2006 – Yeep or Dr. Draw
  • Feburary 2006 – June 2006 – Remedial

In June 2006 GoonSwarm alliance is formed.  Maybe Remedial is in charge.  The records do not state, instead focusing on the main corporations.

  • June 2006 Cefte is de jure CEO of GoonFleet proper as Hoegaarden is CEO of GoonWaffe

Then we begin alliance leaders.

  • June 2006 – July 2006  – Hoegaarden
  • July 2006 – May 2007 – Remedial

The Great War – Sept 2006 to Feb 2009

Sir Molle declared “There are no Goons” and Goons begged to differ.  War were declared, ending in the disbanding of Band of Brothers.  I included Remedial again at the top as his leadership spans eras.

  • July 2006 – May 2007 – Remedial
  • May 2007 – June 2007 – The Mittani
  • June 2007 – Nate Hammertown
  • June 2007 – March 2008 – Sesfan Qu’Lah
  • March 2008 – April 2009  – Darius JOHNSON

The Mittani’s first tenure as leader was short and primarily marked by him calling out CCP for continuing to rig things in favor of Band of Brothers in the wake of the T20 scandal, leading CCP to push back against these allegations.  It is alleged that CCP implied they would take legal action if he continued and he stepped down as leader, though I can find no record of these threats, veiled or otherwise.

Goons and Empire and the Fall

GoonSwarm defeats Band of Brothers and reigns supreme until Karttoon betrays everybody.

  • April 2009 – July 2009 – Zapawork
  • July 2009 – February 2010 – Karttoon

Because he was away on an extended vacation, Karttoon failed to make sure there is enough ISK in the correct account to pay the GoonSwarm sovereignty bill.  Sovereignty droppped and the alliance lost all of its space.

Karttoon returned and used this as an excuse to steal the alliance, kicking everybody out and taking everything he can with him.  Karttoon held both the GoonSwarm alliance as well as the GoonFleet corporation, the latter being tucked away in the Band of Brothers alliance that was formed when the old one was disbanded in order to prevent them from getting their name back.  He later claims he was going to do this anyway.

Related:

Goons Reformed

Having lost the alliance, a new one is formed even as Goons are allowed to crash on Tau Ceti Federation’s couch in Deklein.  Darius JOHNSON comes out of retirement to lead Goons once more.

In February SOLODRAKBANSOLODRAKBANSO is formed.  That lasts until the end of May 2010, when the joke is finally declared dead.

Goonswarm Federation becomes the new alliance on June 1, 2010.  GoonWaffe becomes the primary corporation.  Somewhere along the way Darius JOHNSON exiles ElitistOps, creating a rift that remains until they come back to Goonswarm Federation to help defend Delve during World War Bee.

This also begins the Clusterfuck Coalition in Deklein, which rebrands in 2015 as the Imperium.

  • February 2010 – May 2010 – Darius JOHNSON
  • May 2010 – July 2022 – The Mittani
  • July 15, 2022 – July 28, 2022 – TheAdj
  • July 28, 2022 – now – Asher Elias

Darius JOHNSON stepped down from the leadership role to become a developer at CCP, allowing The Mittani a second shot at leadership, and he held on to that role for the next twelve years, until his downfall earlier this year.

Then TheAdj filled his seat until Asher became the new leader.

And that brings us through to today.

I had actually planned to do a section at the end of this post with short biographies of notable leaders, but the old Wiki disappeared before I got very far, so this is all I have.

That is probably for the best.  Did I mention the writing style of some of the old articles?  I was trying to scrape together a coherent, four sentence paragraph about Remedial from his Wiki entry and… well, that was just not going to happen.

You can find some of the names from the early days popping up again in other groups.  As noted Darius JOHNSON came back during the Casino War to try and make a “true Goons” alliance.  You can also find Hoegaarden as head of Clockwork Pineapple, another offshoot of Goons.  Karttoon came back and hung around in ElitistOps for a bit.

We’re supposed to get the historical Wiki back at some future date as an archive.  Until then, I offer this up as a bit of the history of New Eden.

Kazanir and the Progression Curve in EVE Online

With The Mittani gone we have been having some different people speak at the weekly coalition fireside meetings, which take place on Sunday at the meeting point between EUTZ and USTZ peak times.  So we have had TheAdj, Asher, and this past week, Apple Pear speak to the coalition about what is going on.  It is usually war and policy updates, calls for help on specific fronts (more PI production please!), and a few questions from the audience.

This week, after Apple Pear’s terse comments… he is a man of few words and we respect that… we got a second speaker, Kazanir.

Kazanir is on the GSF finance team and also a new member of the CSM, having been at the top of the Imperium ballot in the CSM17 election.

The CSM17 Winners

Kazanir wanted to speak to us about EVE Online, its current issues, and what he thinks the problems might be.

I know, everybody has their pet theory about why “EVE is dying” this week.  I know I do.  If there isn’t a Reddit thread about it on any given day it is a minor miracle.  Most of them focus on symptoms and quick fixes or wishful thinking about turning back the clock to a more glorious era when we didn’t have… *checks notes*… warp to zero as an option.

Seriously, people are still bringing that up and that has been gone since the Revelations expansion back in 2006.

Anyway, Kazanir, who came back to EVE Online for World War Bee and got deeply involved in helping keep the coalition afloat and able to pay its bills, took his election to the CSM seriously and began to research what has happened over the years and how we got to where we are today.

His first discovery was that, so far as null sec is concerned at least, all the elements of the game have pretty much been in place since 2005’s Red Moon Rising expansion.  By that point the game had dreadnoughts, carriers, supercarriers (motherships back then), titans, tech II production, moon mining, player owned structures, null sec sovereignty, and the basics of everything that makes null sec what it is even today.

Yes, things have changed since then.  There is no AOE titan doomsdays through cynos obliterating whole subcap fleets… something else that gets asked for now and then on Reddit… and moon sovereignty is now two sov systems ago.  But the essentials were in place.

And with that things carried on and wars were fought about which books have been published.

Until they didn’t.  So the question became what changed, and Kazanir has two working theories on what is missing from the game.

  • Progression – The Curse of Cheap Capitals and Easy Skill Points

The first item Kazanir brought up was progression.  For a long time titans, while not as rare as CCP thought they would be, were still pretty special ships.  The battle at B-R5RB probably had more impact on the game than the two battles at M2-XFE because titans were just tougher to get back then.

Getting into a titan took a lot of time and planning and ISK.  Time and ISK were a barrier to capital proliferation and made titans an aspirational goal.  You had to work and wait to get one.  Even if you bought a titan pilot at the character bazaar, there was still ISK to be earned for both the pilot and the hull.

That went away for with some often discussed changes.  Rorquals, skill injectors, and the opening of the ISK faucet with super ratting all combined to make titans much more easily obtained.

If you could get into a carrier… and even I was able to get into a carrier before these changes… you could bulk up your wallet and spend the ISK on skill injectors to make a titan alt right away.  Or you could just buy PLEX and sell it on the market.  ISK was all around us.

Meanwhile, Rorqual mining… also a big ISK earner for pilots, though not an ISK faucet… made collecting all the minerals required to build capitals, all the way up to titans, but faster and cheaper.

Somewhere I have a screen shot of the price list from a capital building service in Delve back in the heyday of the titan boom and titan hulls were maybe 60 billion ISK, while supercarriers were under 20 billion.  It was a bonanza for pilots who wanted to fly big iron.

For Reavers Secret Santa a couple of years back I gave somebody a fully fit Apostle because it wasn’t even a 2 billion ISK spend.  Somebody gave me a Ninazu the next year.  No big deal.

It was clearly out of hand and CCP felt they had to do something about it.  After two years of slow nerfs to Rorquals and capital ratting, CCP decided to really bring the hammer down and we got austerity as a permanent feature of New Eden.

There is less ISK coming into the economy, everything costs more, and the resources to build things are harder to come by.  Did this solve the problem?

Kazanir says “no.”

What he sees is an end to progression.  After years of titans rolling off the assembly line like sausages, they are now very expensive to build or replace.  PLEX is more expensive.  Skill injectors are more expensive.  To get from new player to titan pilot is now a much more arduous journey… or expensive if you want to credit card your way into the big hulls.

Pilots, corps, and alliances that got in on the boom years now have a leg up.  Kazanir says that austerity helped us win World War Bee because the Imperium held enough of a capital advantage that we couldn’t be overwhelmed and the economy no longer supported the ability to catch up even though we were stuck in a single constellation in Delve.

So what should CCP do?

Kazanir’s idea is to restore progression, which means loosening up the economy and minerals at one end of things while adding more progression at the other end.  Tech II capitals, supers, and titans, more faction capitals, maybe something beyond titans… something to give people an aspiration goal, including those who already have a few titans sitting in hangars… that will also push the economy by increasing demand.  The velocity of ISK has been on a long downward trend, and now the concurrent player numbers have joined its slide.

He says that it can’t be a WoW-like progression treadmill.  But right now there is just stagnation due to CCP’s dramatic clamp down on the economy.

  • Moon Mining and the Value of Space

The other item that Kazanir brought up was that holding null sec space doesn’t have any particular value.  This was due to changes made by CCP to moon mining.

Moons used to be a big conflict driver.  We invaded Fountain and fought TEST back in 2013 ostensibly because we wanted their moons.  Treaties and unlikely alliances and wars of aggression were fought over moons.

One of the big Upwell structure changes was drilling platforms replacing the old moon mining POS arrays.  Moon mining went from a passive activity to a very active one where you needed multiple pilots to collect the yield of a frack.  As CCP Rattati told us all on Reddit, “solo moon mining isn’t a god given right.”

The problem, as Kazanir lays it out, is that there is no way to turn space profitable by taking it in any sort of reasonable time frame.  Back in the day you could bash somebody’s POS, replace it with your own, and be mining moon goo right away.  There is no conflict driver because moons take a month to get spun up, need a fleet to mine out, and the output is not all that valuable any more.

So there needs to be a new conflict driver in null sec that makes space worth holding, that makes it worth a small group grabbing some distant constellation or even a system so they can do something with it beyond planting a flag.

We’re out burning down FI.RE space right now, but we have no intention of keeping it.  It adds no value and is too far from home for us to hold and maintain and farm.

Does that mean we should go back to passive POS mining?  Probably not.  But something needs to drive conflict beyond the major powers just shooting each other in order to burn down some structures and go home.

  • Now What?

Is any of this true?  I mean, it sounds reasonable.  Certainly the traditional way for an MMO to get out of economic stagnation is to grow and inflate itself out the problem, to give players more money and expensive new toys to build or buy.  Players don’t love it when it becomes a recurring endless treadmill of progression.  But right now the veteran player base, the core of any game, has no real progression at all.

Likewise, the current structure and sovereignty system has been seen as more of an impediment that an incentive for war.  I’ve been on eight hour long sov tug of war battles where it is just a grind to see which side will get tired and go home.  That isn’t sparkling game play.

Can Kazanir do anything about this on the CSM?  Probably not.

He can bring his ideas to CCP, but they have to be receptive and, the current team running the game has been sticking to its guns that the only way to preserve the game is to keep the economy stuck in low gear lest players advance too quickly.

Anyway, it will be something to watch in the coming year.

I have tried to transmit Kazanir’s ideas to a blog post, but I fear I have not done him justice.  The fireside was recorded however, and that recording is up on a public server if you want to listen to him speak yourself.  It is about a 15 minute listen.

Kazanir starts speaking at the 5:40 mark if you wish to jump ahead and get straight to that.

Related:

Asher Ascendant and the New Age of Risk for the Imperium

insure your supers

-Asher, just before Operation Enho

On Thursday we got a big announcement.  Asher Elias, long time bloc level fleet commander and the Imperium sky marshal during World War Bee, was stepping up to lead Goonswarm Federation, and by extension the Imperium, filling the leadership vacuum left by the departure of The Mittani.

Welcome to the new regime.

You think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark.

I can’t actually remember why I threw together that Asher/Bane mash up image last year… there was probably some running gag on one of his fleets… but it was the only image of his character I had readily to hand.  And a new leader has to project a fearsome image, right?

Long time readers of this blog might find the name familiar.  Including this post I have 105 posts tagged with “Asher Elias” going back to a rupture fleet he ran back in 2014 where we got bombed into oblivion.

He has more positive mentions as leader of the Reavers SIG within the Imperium, founded back in 2015, which I happened to stumble into just as it was being formed, something that changed the game for me.

Reavers forum bee

I blame Asher and Reavers for my continuing to play EVE Online for the last seven years or so because going from main fleet to a SIG that did special operations and its own doctrines kept null sec alive and interesting for me.  A couple of times over the last few years I have thought it might be time to take a break… and then a Reavers deployment comes up and I am back in the game again.

In addition to being sky marshal and running the Reavers SIG he has run the Goonswarm alliance tournament team and currently stands as the pilot on the most kill mails in all of the Goonswarm Federation alliance, standing at 26,691 kills as I write this.

The GSF top five pilots based on kill mails – GinFOX is catching up

Known for his meticulous planning and audacious schemes… which includes trying to boosh subcaps into optimum range of a HAW dread to helping put together Operation Ehno, the attempt to trap and kill PAPI supers at YZ9-F6… he play the null sec fleet operations game at the highest level.

If there was anybody more unlike The Mittani when it came to the game, it would be hard to find them.  Mittens bragged about never logging in and playing the meta game, using the weekly Meta Show to harangue our foes and call them names in order to enrage them and get them to come at us.

Asher, while he has his own Twitch channel, is probably better known there and on YouTube for his League of Legends videos.  He is mild of temper and not prone to throwing insults or creating bad feelings.

In a prepared speech he read today (which you can listen to here or read here or at the end of this post) after TheAdj announced he would be taking over the reigns of the alliance and coalition, he charted out a different path forward.  Rather than going on weekly shows to mock our foes in order to get them to hate us, he said we would be pursing an in-game strategy of actually attack them and taking their space in order to get them mad at us.

As part of this the Imperium will be taking more risks, because risks lead to the type of fights that make this game memorable, that make ongoing tales of null sec worth writing books about.

He said during his speech that the Imperium had previously been following a line of simply not losing.  As an example, he said that after the twin battles on the Keepstar at M2-XFE he said our foes were demoralized, their titans trapped, and were worried that we would take out their Keepstar in NPC Delve, cutting their safe route into Delve.  They were alleged to be surprised that we did not move against them, choosing instead to abandon our defense of the Helms Deep systems and any pretense of attack in order to sit and camp their titans until they revived the morale of their line members and resumed grinding down Delve, and freeing most of their trapped titans in order to resume the offensive.

Asher, sky marshal of the Imperium, whose job was to coordinate and plan the strategy of the war, was forbidden by Imperium leadership from attacking the PAPI Keepstar in Delve.

The war could have been won, decisively, with an explosive battle, rather than being dragged out for months and months until the enemy finally retreated in dismay, undefeated in battle, but worn down by the long siege of 1DQ1-A.

The reason for the decision to leave the Keepstar alone was that to attack it contained an element of risk.  It would have been a gamble, and nobody at the top wanted to roll the dice.  So the war went on.

So part of Asher’s comments were that we would, as an organization, be taking more risks and committing more heavily to war.  His speech was followed up by a call to deploy more forces to the front in the war against FI.RE in Tenerifis and Immensea.  Capitals and supers were being moved.  The war was going to be dialed up, with the possibility that this escalation might bring a response from other groups.  We shall see.

But it is a different message with a different tone.  We will let the weight of our forces do the talking.

The only downside to this is that the responsibilities of state will likely keep Asher from being able to lead Reavers ops.  But I can say that the leader of the Imperium knows who I am.  And if you tackle my jump freighter, you can be sure I’ll mention that I know Asher Elias.

We don’t know how long he will remain in charge, though he did say in an interview on Theta Thursday that he wasn’t going to stick around for a dozen year like The Mittani did.

Related:

Text of Asher’s speech after the cut:

Continue reading

Fruits of the Cultural Revolution

When I went out to null sec back in late 2011, it was not without some trepidation.  I was going to join a friend out there and be part of a small corporation.  In the social structure of New Eden, the corporation is often the most basic unit, a small group that identifies together, very much the guild analog in EVE Online.

But the game takes it beyond that, and above corporations there are alliances, which are groups of corporations that can band together under a unified banner in order to work together.  Alliances are a meta-guild of sorts.

The players, ever ingenious, have managed to create their own social structures beyond what the game provides.  I often speak of the Imperium and PanFam and PAPI and FI.RE.  These are coalitions, alliances of alliances, an idea that has no official structure within the game.  But CCP gave us enough tools through standings and such to make them possible.

And then there are informal groups, at least so far as the game is concerned, what we call SIGs and Squads in the Imperium, but which exist in other alliances and coalitions, which try to group up people with like interests so they can do things together.

This is somewhat relevant to my own tale in null sec, which started with my joining a small corporation, BSC Legion, back in December of 2011 and getting mixed up in the never ending tale of war and drama that is null sec space in New Eden.  It may also relevant to where this post will go, though I won’t really know until I get there.

Back then the organization now known as the Imperium, at the time called the CFC, was a very different place.  This was after the great war between Band of Brothers and Goons, and null sec was a mix of survivors of the war, successor organizations, and some new groups.  It was very much the age of suspicion and spies and getting into a null sec corp required some thorough vetting and a vouch from somebody already in the corp.

And life in null sec was like a lot of other PvP games at the time.  There was a lot of casual racism, sexism, homophobia, and all the usual bad tropes of “gamer” culture, with no real incentive to change and a lot of people set in their ways.  The CEO of my first alliance, TNT, told us quite bluntly at one point that he would ban and blacklist anybody who complained to CCP about people posting porn in fleet chat, which was incredibly common at the time.  An occasional FC would ask people to go make a porn channel to keep fleet chat clear, but that was a rare thing indeed.

It was the price of playing the game… because it wasn’t just null sec that was like that.

Then things changed.  Sometime after the Fountain War Goonswarm and the CFC started to clean itself up.  The cultural revolution was declared.  A huge push was made to normalize better behavior.  The name was change to the Imperium.  We were no longer going to tolerate casual racism, sexism, antisemitism, homophobia, and other toxic behavior within our ranks.

This was not an easy lift.  There had been some efforts before to try to get people to tone down their behavior, at least in coalition level fleets, and it was met by a lot of push back.  There are a lot of fragile young men out there who feel less than whole if they can’t been abusive.  I recall many surly complaints about not being able to link porn in fleet chat or harass any female that showed up on voice chat.

But the cultural revolution, which was most loudly proclaimed by The Mittani, mostly succeeded.  It was directed primarily at Goonswarm and coalition operations, so other alliances in the coalition did what they pleased on their own time.  There had to be a second cultural revolution after the Casino War to stamp out corners of toxic behavior… a task made easier by the fact that the Imperium had shed some of the more toxic groups during the war… and some basic standard of behavior was created and enforced.  I have been on fleets where somebody slips into that old toxic behavior only to have the fleet commander firmly remind them that “we don’t do that here.”  It is always good to hear somebody in authority holding the line.

And I am sure somebody will point out that coalition member X said something toxic somewhere… in local, in the forums, on r/eve… and they are probably right.  There is no way to police this sort of standard outside of coalition sponsored operations.  But at least people could go on coalition operations and not be subject to that sort of thing.  Life was better.

As for why this happened, there are probably a few reasons, not the least of which is that unchecked toxic behavior tends to drive out your best players over time.

But this time frame was also a point of change in null sec.  Brave Newbies had showed up and, while not exactly a power house, demonstrated that an open recruitment policy and an eagerness to help new players could generate interest and put ships on grid.

In a game where “n+1” had long been the formula for victory, this simple method of recruiting people to fill fleets was a too good to pass up.  We were also entering the “farms and fields” era of null sec, where defense of sovereignty would depend on the Activity Defense Multiplier.  You would have to live in and use your space to make it defensible, and having more people made that easier.  Also, there would no longer be “bad” space in null sec, systems whose true security gave them little value.  Upgrades via infrastructure hubs would make any system viable for ratting, mining, and industry.

So the Imperium copied the Brave formula, grabbing some of their leadership along the way, and set about recreating it in the form of KarmaFleet.  Goonswarm already had a fairly strong training and informational program for new players, so this was expanded and evolved to handle new recruits that wanted to go to null sec.

All of this was a large set of changes to the organization, and it is hard to imagine that they could have occurred without somebody as driven and frankly ruthless as The Mittani championing them.  He had been out in front of this declaring that we shouldn’t be shitty to each other.  We were all in this together and should look out for and support each other.

This is the sort of thing that builds the bonds that gets people to hold out for more than a year against three to one odds, as happened in World War Bee.

So there has been a strong belief that, no matter what our foes say, that we’re the good guys, demonstrably better people than those who attack us.

Which isn’t to say that everything was perfect.  Individuals will be jerks of their own accord.

And so it was that somebody in the coalition was stalking and harassing one of their female corp mates.  The corporation diplomats asked the coalition to ban and blacklist that person, but the coalition wanted more information.  The victim of the harassment sent more information, however nothing happened for four months, so she began complaining in the alliance forum about it to get attention.

This got the attention desired and the harasser was banned.

But so was the victim.

That was obviously wrong and the victim was unbanned.

If that were it, and my summation here is grossly simplified, it would have been bad but something to be learned from.  Mistakes get made, but they are only wasted if we fail to use them to improve.  The first I heard about any of this was a ping went out about the coalition needing a harassment policy because part of the excuse was that people handling this were not sure what to do.

But then people who were calling for the victim to be unbanned then got banned.  The victim and their defenders were banned for drama.

And there was The Mittani, in the middle of this, banning people, blaming the victim, and generally being an ass.  Quotes from him, posted all over r/eve, were the first thing I saw that made me feel that something was really wrong.

The Mittani as imagined by CCP in a video from The Scope

As more leaks came out I really began to think it might be time to leave.  This wasn’t what we fought for in the past.  I started calculating in my head what I ought to do to get out… sell my caps, ship smaller stuff to Jita… and be done with it.  This was not where the cultural revolution was supposed to lead us… or rather, it seemed to be pointing out that being better only applied to line members, that those in power could continue to behave badly behind closed doors, something we see all to often in the real world where rules only apply to those down the food chain.

That was on Wednesday evening, and I mulled it over on Thursday as more leaks sprung revealing what was going on at the top.

Then, Friday morning, The Mittani resigned.  He put out a statement that was posted over at INN about his reasons for leaving, highlighting people dragging his personal life into the fray.  And that was no doubt so.  He has made a lot of enemies and there are a host of people on r/eve and Something Awful that will drag him at every opportunity.

But there isn’t anybody outside of the Imperium who can take credit for this, though they are trying to.

The call came from inside the house.

This was an internal revolt.  When leadership chats are leaking, it is because people are not happy inside and they can’t see being able to make any change without going public.

So The Mittani has stepped down, handed over the keys to the alliance, driven there, arguably, by the cultural revolution he championed years back.

What happens next?  That remains to be seen.  Internal dissent won’t be quelled by shuffling the deck chairs.  But there are also people who feel The Mittani did no wrong, some still in leadership positions.  Goon unity is an illusion, except when people bunch us into a collective group to take a swing at us.  Outside attacks bring us together.  But left to our own the Imperium is a large and diverse group and no stereotype fits.

And how does the Imperium and Goonswarm Federation move forward from this?

The Mittani has often openly declared the organization to be an autocracy, and like its real world counterparts, it had a strong and recognizable main leader and then a host of others doing the real work mostly behind the scenes.  That means that there is no immediate and obvious heir to the leadership role.  Some care takers have taken over the main roles, but there isn’t anybody at the top now whose voice I would recognize on coms, much less know what they really do in the Coalition.

All of this has happened not too long after the ten year anniversary of the notorious “wizard hat” incident when The Mittani encouraged people during his alliance panel presentation to harass a player who claimed to be suicidal.  The Mittani apologized the next day and attempted to make good with the player in question, but CCP revoked his election to CSM 7 and banned him from the game for 30 days.

Anyway, that was an unexpected turn at the end of a disappointing week.  And, as often happens with EVE Online, now I feel I have to stick around just to find out what happens next.  I do not expect that there will be much immediate impact.  The wheels of the coalition will continue to grind on, I will still log in and fly with the same people in the same time slots and the same SIGs that I usually do.

But this could lead to a dramatic change over time.  Leaders of Goonswarm have generally left their mark on the organization, and none have led as long as The Mittani, so what happens next remains to be seen.

Related: