A little over a year ago I wrote about how our old corporation in the TNT alliance, Black Sheep Down, had dwindled in numbers and the remaining members were be pressed, if not pressured, to move into other corps in the alliance. As with many things in life, my corp didn’t matter so much to me at that point… almost anybody I knew or who knew me had stopped playing by that then… but there was no real reason to pick up and move either.
Once pushed to choose something new I felt I had best look for the corp that would work best for me, and KarmaFleet seemed to be the obvious choice.
KarmaFleet is the largest corp in Goonswarm Federation (GSF), with nearly 5,500 pilots currently. That makes the corpse more than double the size of GoonWaffe, the traditional core corp of GSF, and its nearly 2,500 capsuleers. Those in GoonWaffe have traditionally been the “made men,” to borrow a concept, of the alliance and to get into that corp was to be accepted into the bosom of the organization and accepted fully as one of their own. Other corps have to prove their value to the alliance, but those in Waffe were only ever subject to removal because they betrayed the alliance in some way. Otherwise you were pretty much free to do as you pleased, no PAP link requirements or such would dog you.
GoonWaffe used to be the goal of many, and back in the day you had to show your Something Awful forum bonafides. It used to be a standard “True Goon” dick measuring contest to compare registration dates over at SA.
These days though, KarmaFleet has become something of the destination for a lot of long term members of the alliance. There are a lot of people in Reavers who were in other corps back in the day who are now in KarmaFleet. It is the corp to be in if you don’t have a strong reason to be in another alliance corp.
KarmaFleet is the way into the alliance for many people and over the last six or so years as it was the GSF response to the need for more pilots to hold space. Deep in the past a lot of null sec systems were not worth having, save for the fact that you wouldn’t want anybody hostile living next door to you. Over the years that changed and more players could be accommodated in fewer and more densely packed systems. The empires of 2014 or so, with three major coalitions holding most of null sec as either their own space or as rental space.
Changes to null sec, both before and after Fozzie Sov, made having more players who would both live in coalition space and fight for the coalition itself more important. The levee en masse era of null sec began. Brave Newbies showed the way, and now each coalition has at least one new player organization that outsiders can join. Gone are the days when getting into a null sec corporation needed three vouches, a phone interview, and a DNA test.
It also meant that these groups had to be nicer to people. In 2011, when I went to null sec, the prevailing attitude was still very much “you should be happy we even let you in.” Now organizations advertise the benefits of joining.
Of course, by the time I was thinking about KarmaFleet I was already in the coalition, so a lot of the recruiting benefits were already mine… or I was well beyond needing them. There were no free skill books from them that I could use.
Once I had filled out the forms and waited around for a while… there was a bit of a queue to get in… I was let in. I got myself set back up in the various channels and SIGs and squads and whatever and went on my merry way.
So the question now is, was it the right choice? Am I happy a year down the road?
From a purely selfish perspective, being in KarmaFleet has been good for me. Some of that has been due to some rather small items, like not having to maintain two sets of coms because TNT has their own voice server and own forums and own Jabber channels. I also don’t get every “all all” ping twice, once straight from GSF and once via the TNT relay.
Not a huge thing, but a benefit none the less.
I think the biggest change early on was with contracts. Since I tend to do things with special groups within the coalition, that means getting out to remote stations and buying replacement ships. Since we’re often in NPC stations adjacent to hostile space, that means that any ship contracts need to be up for alliance members only, lest the hostiles just come in and buy up all of our stuff right when we need it the most. (Or buy it up and relist it for more, or put up bogus contracts with bad fits, something I have fallen for in the past.)
When I was in TNT that often meant I had to ask somebody else to buy me a ship off a GSF alliance contract and then I would give them the ISK for the ship. Not a huge deal, but it is annoying to have to constantly ask and not be able to take care of yourself.
SRP, the ship replacement program… and I think I should do a post about the SRP and how it works at some point… is better in KarmaFleet. TNT, as a smaller org, wasn’t keen to support special SIG or squad fits. I ate some Reavers losses over the years as my SRP requests were denied. KarmaFleet uses the GSF alliance SRP, which has been pretty good about special fits. But they also have their own SRP for certain fits. To encourage people to fly logi in support of fleets, you can get an additional payout on your loss by filing for both GSF and KarmaFleet SRP reimbursement.
One of the other benefits is that the participation requirements for KarmaFleet are low but well defined. You need to go on three fleets and get participation credit every quarter. Basically, one PAP a month, but you can make it up if you miss a month.
In TNT the participation requirements were somewhat vague. I was never called out for lack of participation… and, in our corp, I was often one of the top three when it came to participation… but it is the sort of thing I can fret about.
Of course, once the build up to World War Bee came back in June, I was never in danger of missing participation goals. I am on 64 PAPs so far for January and there is still more than a day left in the month.
The war itself has been the main focus for more than six months now, but I am glad I made the change when I did. I could have lingered around in the old corp… like I said, they were not necessarily pushing, but the end was nigh… but getting out and getting set up and settled well before the war worked out.
Over all it was a good move. I don’t take advantage of a lot KarmaFleet has to offer, and being a big organization means that I hardly stand out at my level of effort. So it is likely this is where I will stay until they kick me out or I finally tire of the whole null sec thing completely. I came in well on my way to the final stage of member progression.
But the full transformation won’t happen until the war is over at least. I know I have to see that through to the end, if only to see where it goes and to be a part of whatever denouement lays in our future.