When, during a fleet op on Saturday afternoon my local time, The Mittani asked over Jabber if somebody had an alt handy that could create an alliance. We immediately began to wondered what was up.
And we had time to wonder, as TEST’s erstwhile allies, who went to the trouble to put the ihub at D4KU-5 into reinforce, couldn’t raise a fleet to finish off the timer, so we were out there repping the ihub in peace.
Repping the ihub
Visions of a disgruntled director dissolving TEST and GSF grabbing their alliance name, as happened with Band of Brothers way back when, swam through my head. Why else would they need somebody to create an alliance on short notice.
But no, we weren’t going to be adding to TEST’s current implosion and retreat to low sec. We got the word, again through Jabber:
Directorbot: HORRIBLE EXPERIMENTS WITH PUBBIES: Due to the horrors of the Odyssey changes, we are now considering the formerly unthinkable: setting up a CFC-affiliated renter zone, where each entity in the CFC gets ~mad bux~ based on their participation. CCP seems to be forcing everyone into being serf-lords. Give me your best renter-alliance names in gfgbs, with the understanding that “Free Trade Zone” has sadly already been taken.
We’re also going to arrange a ~sales force~ where you can get a cut of the first month’s rent of any renter pubbie corp you help us slot into their ghettoes.
*** This was a broadcast from the_mittani to all-all at 2013-08-10 21:14:04.819616 EVE, replies are not monitored ***
Goonswarm was going into the space rental business.
The name chosen, as seen in the title of this post, was the Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere (ticker: PBLRD). The name is a reference that had to be explained to those not keeping up.
The irony of the situation is… I don’t know… very ironic? Irony turned up to 11?
The Goons in particular have been quite vocal in their hate of renters and alliances that fund themselves through renters, to the point that anti-renter propaganda has become a core value of the alliance. The big April Fool’s joke at The Mittani this year was a mock announcement that Goonswarm was going to start renting space.
But there it was. A post was up in the Goon forums announcing the plan, complete with imposing charts and graphs detailing the potential upside value in ISK for the whole venture, which you can see here in the public announcement of the plan. And then the thread lit up. The first response was:
this is the dumbest thing we could possibly do
And it devolved from there. As noted, hating renters, and pubbies in general, has a history. And even trying to cast the whole thing as a bold new way to oppresses the masses in New Eden was not getting many converts.
A new vision
And the most bitter pill to swallow had to be the immediate ban on rental scams. Long have Goon scammers fattened their wallets acting as null sec real estate agents, taking large deposits on the promise of an early move-in date for prime ratting/mining locations. All of that is now verboten.
In then end, the project was destined to go forward because of the ISK factor. With moon income being reduced greatly with Odyssey, potential CFC adversaries, all of whom rent space to subsidize their empires, looked to be able to accumulate war chests that would allow them to outspend us in any future conflict. The venture has been cast as one required for long term survival. Plus, you know, ongoing peacetime reimbursements, first carriers free to Goons, and other aspects of space communism. The Goons will harness the carebears to the yoke. Gevlon would be proud.
All of which was both interesting and uncomfortable to watch as a Goon ally in the CFC. Things in the Goon forums tend to be cast entirely in a Goon light, and rightly so. But as a… pubbie… non-Goon… Goon by association… or whatever the hell I am, I am never quite sure… with access to their forums, from which almost all my CFC information comes, it isn’t always clear where allies fit in. Some questions up the chain in my own corp/alliance indicated that this was a CFC-wide initiative and that all alliances in the CFC would share in the bounty in some way.
Now there is just the details of making the whole thing work. As part of an ongoing educational plan, there is a good post up describing how null sec rental empires operate in EVE Online, which includes some information on other such operations. But there is still a gap in trust to be overcome. If you have been scammed by Goons in the past, what is the likelihood that you are going to sign up for this, pay the first month’s rental in advance, and then put all your corporate assets in a station that they can lock you out of should the need and/or desire arise?
Because jumping onto that is not going to make you a member of the CFC. It is not a back door to becoming a Goon ally. If you are looking for that sort of thing, then you are doing it wrong.
It is even tough to hold up CSM8 member Mynnna, who is driving part of this initiative, as a sign of good faith after The Mittani used his position as CSM chairman as a way to gain trust in order to pull off a number of supercapital escrow scams. Life with a reputation.
But renting such space can be a way to make a lot of ISK, if you have a corp willing to work the space. Or multi-box like crazy.
And you can trust me right? Hah! I will have to see what this sales force option is, since I could use the ISK for my capital ship plans. And my corporation explicitly forbids scamming in their bylaws.
The upshot of all of this is that it looks like renters will become a key financing method for all major null sec power blocs. And since wars are often about money… see the stated reason for the invasion of Fountain… I expect that renters will become a greater focus in conflicts going forward. That was one of the forum proposals, that rather than renting we just go interdict the opposition’s renters in order to level the ISK playing field. That did not fly on its own, but I am sure it will be part of the plan going forward.
Personally, I am mostly looking forward to seeing “Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere” appear on the null sec influence map. Well, that and ongoing ship reimbursements. I am all for that.