This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

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: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

25 Jun 2012

OOC Entry 30 - The Thunderstorm

Normally I do not write about in-game events, and normally I do not believe much of what is written on Evenews24, but this article captured my attention because the thunderhead that is now ready to unleash it's fury has been building up noticeably. Like the delivering release after ever more opressively hot summer days, I had actually wished for it to come:  The next Great War of New Eden.

When I started playing, the fires of the last one were dwindling. Band of Brothers had just ceased to exist, and not long after that, Goonswarm vanished from the scene. Because of unpaid bills mostly, but maybe also because the then leadership did not really know what to do after they had finally vanquished their sworn enemy.

Like Steve Jobs return to Apple, the installment of the Mittani as the leader of GSF brought new life to a force that seemed a bit clueless after having squandered the fruits of their great victory. Just like Steve Jobs was never really a brilliant engineer, the Mittani is not a brilliant pilot. He is however an inspiring leader and masterful actor on the stage that he has chosen, again like Jobs. Under Mittani's leadership, Goonswarm consolidated, grew and finally founded the Cluster Fuck Coalition.

That newly formed group fought the Northern Coalition to it's knees and watched as the formerly powerful DRF collapsed. Now the CFC, with Goonswarm at it's centre, has become the mighty Empire that BoB once was, and the Goons once came to destroy.

The question that occupied my mind whenever I looked at those events in recent history was this: Who will be the next Goonswarm? The force which will rise to the challenge of trying to bring the Empire down.

For half a year now it looked like the CFC had all of New Eden as their playground to do whatever they wished with. The campaigns became ever bolder. First they cleared the north of their last opponents there and in the end the CFC together occupied a good third of nullsec space. The Ice Interdicition followed and changed the market for POS fuel drastically. Then the Burn Jita campaign came ... it's outcome is still being questioned, but it was a daring blow at the heart of New Eden's market. Permanent Hulkageddon was declared, and the Goonswarm single-handedly reinstated insurance for suicide gankers that had previously been taken out of the game. All of this culminated in the formation of OTEC, the most ambitious market control mechanism ever attempted in the game.

During all this time, old enemies of Goonswarm were trying to attack what they thought were just pets. The other members of the CFC stood their ground, though, and the enemy forces had to realize that the CFC structure was not quite as totalitarian and linear as the old empires they had known. Eventually, some of the most driven warriors of EVE joined the fray to see what they could do against this seemingly unbeatable community.

Now the moment has come. The largest force EVE has ever seen, has been called to arms to destroy those provocateurs. With language strangely reminiscent of the once boastful BoB leaders when they declared that Goonswarm will be eradicated, the Mittani is ordering all of 'his people' (yes he really used those words) to destroy AAA, Nulli Secunda and everyone else who is allied with them.

The CFC, joined by Test Alliance and Pandemic Legion, has immense numbers and a very strong sense of community. Their opponents are a fractious lot, but some of them possess a fighting spirit and skill that hardly any of the CFC corporations have. The Mittani is selling this campaign to the coalition as an easy victory, but it might turn into a New Eden version of the Greco-Persian war of ancient times. I am already wondering where the battle of Thermopylae will be fought.

The other thing is, that Goonswarm, Test Alliance and Pandemic Legion are hated by almost everyone who is not a direct ally. The rest of the CFC is usually thrown together with them by the rest of New Eden. For most people the CFC is the Goons, even if they are not.

An interesting question that plays in my mind is: Will this be an event that unifies the suffering miners and industrialists of highsec. Will they - like Rundle Allnighter has offered on Lost In Eve Episode 77- sponsor the CFC's opponents with ships and other materials?

And then there is the looming giant in the east. Numerically inferior to the CFC, and likely not as strong fighters as AAA, Solar Fleet is still sitting mostly unchallenged in a vast section of space that now has become rather worthless. With the bulk of the CFC forces deployed in the south, will they make a move to try and break into the technetium-rich regions of the north?

Also, BoB has risen from the grave. Will this revenant of a once mighty empire play a role in all of this?

I wonder what plays in the minds of the Mittani and his inner circle. Are they really so confident (or megalomanic) that they are sure they will win this, or are they actually planning to make this a historic example of emergent gameplay during which the "Evil Empire" finally falls?

Considering his penchant for dramatic gestures, I would actually not even be suprised if this were what Alexander Gianturco has scripted as the Mittani's moment of glorious demise.

Whatever the outcome, alliances will be shattered, massive battles will be fought and the map will be redrawn. I hope it will be a map without the CFC. Not because I hate them so much, but because they have become a stultifying force.

More than a year ago, people thought that you soon wont be able to set a foot into nullsec without a Russian language course. These days, it looks like you need to play the CFC's game if you want to have some chance to build up a nullsec presence.

I wish for a new era where new Alliances can be formed and new beginnings can be made.

As for myself, I will watch the thunderstorm bring it's deluge from the snug safety of my rabbithole, and I hope, that every once in a while I can find my way out to cross the paths of some disorganized stragglers from a large battle and shorten their trip home to their clone bays.

I have friends on both sides of this war. I wish them well and hope that the New Eden which will rise from the ashes of this conflict will offer great new perspectives for all of them.


  1. Thanks for the post. As we both live in WH space, the shenanigans in K-space are fairly irrelevant to us - the only thing I really see having an effect is the price of ice products. Is it just me to do you also see more abandoned towers in W-space? It looks to me like a contraction out of the only space where people _must_ live out of POS towers.

    Dominance is of course the whole point of EVE Online and the game caters overtly to making the strong stronger until only 2 or 3 solidified power blocs remain. That is inevitable. A radical change of resources (Tech moons run out eventually and new Tech deposits are discovered on moons elsewhere and in belts) would be akin to breaking the lock of OPEC by drilling for shale oil. Sucking revenue from Goons will reduce their ability to fund Hulkageddon for example and I am sure CCP is watching it with interest. Question is, how much are CCP in the pocket of the Goons who are their most vocal customers and are wielding rather significant power over real money revenue.

    Lastly, powerblocs tend to fracture eventually, collapse under their own weight. Inkas, Rome, China, US, all have experienced that exact mechanic. For the Goons to thrive, they may want to consider to reset the rest of CFC and get "moar" fights. People yearn for conflict. If there is no one outside to fight, the aggression turns inward.

  2. o/ Splatus, sir. Small world. This is Oreb Wing. I can agree with you on most references to the empires of real earth, but the great beast that is the CFC is not so much a people or a place, nor even so much an idea, as the slain but ever present phantom of the Republic. It is a style of vision and a way of life that contends with everything, yet has no maker. The bastard child of havoc recognizes no king, but like the wolf, only the dominant Alpha that leads the fold to plenty. But it is not food for the stomach here, but blood for the eyes and New Eden has never seen the kinds of fires of what is come. The fires of old. Will a white knight arise in such a Gomorrahn utopia? Can one? It defies the very structure of EvE, which will undoubtedly be ridiculed by its very foundations. I recall a time when I knew not of New Eden, before I knew of Something Awful, I saw the clouds of Destruction and Chaos cover the valleys of Warhammer Online like a shadow of a storm with the wind behind it. Unlike Eve, who the enemy was is clear, and the ally and the coward. The otherwise mindless zerg rush attacked us with uncharacteristic precision and strategy; where I would have seen pockets of brawls and skirmishes throughout the plains and forests, there were stopgaps of blitzed objectives, routing and even our reinforcement lanes were cut off by a separate Warlord. I saw morale sink into the mud with a dying gasp, hope vanish like the morning dew before the fires of the Rift spawn that came. I saw brothers turn to other servers to join enemy ranks and abandon the skull throne to the encroaching horde! (mostly due to silly player skins being more sinister/provocative on Destro). Seeing such opposition filled me with hellborn lust to die valiantly, but alas! not many shared my excitement for the challenge of odds. Though I fail at EvE pvp at the moment, I ranked 1st in dmg in scenarios with even a skirmisher hybrid Shadow Warrior. Before the multishot got nerfed, I was an unstoppable force, a hunter of vile creatures and defender on the wall. Someone will pick up that dusty flag in Eve, of fellowship, of selflessness, of integrity! Perhaps someone in a frigate.

  3. Bird Good! :)

    Hello Oreb Wing.
    While I like your prose, I am not quite sure what you are saying with all of this. I am confused.

    1. My apologies. A lot of what I wrote goes under the bridge of a fun conversation Sir Splatus and I had. What ai should have concluded with was that, in the spirit of sportsmanship we should be double glad to have such a tremendous force worthy of a fight, though we might be far from giving justice to the task as a significant adversary. We should not contend with bickering or false disinterest, but like any river, chip away at the mountains. The fight, and the glory, is best when the odds are against you. To GF's! and a faster te-shipping. -oreb

  4. Oreb! My favorite literary pilot. We missed you, come back. Your argument - if I can discern it right, pre-coffee, is of course false. The masses, RL and in game, never fight the oppressive force. They join but go to great length to explain why they can do so without affecting their morals. These excuses range from the obvious ("whats a man going to do, I have to feed my family and they provide a (brown) shirt and work") to the elaborate ("we really don't like the goons but we side with them until we have a footprint in their space, then we go independent" - the historical parallel to that was the Freicorps Doenitz and we all know how that turned out). Anyway.

    The masses never rise up against their oppressors as long as the oppression acts where it doesn't hurt, i.e. free speech, deportations and gassing of neighbors and creation of an internal spy state. East Germany endured 40 years of that without blinking. What brought down the state in the end was a a lack of bananas (really). Pane et circensis. And the goons know that as well as the Stasi.

    1. You are right, of course. But sometimes it takes a fire to start a fire. Though you are right in the assessment of the mannerisms of the common Eve pilot, and have the proof of history in the most likely human response to aggression and tyranny, I still must disagree and maintain my position. Over the cheering and roaring coliseum, one faint cry might be heard, Stop! Stop! And as the blood of of the bold impresses in the heart as deeply as the feather's ink on the papyrus; the masses will pass on, but all it took was one man to empty an entire theatre. History may forget. Legends and fables might take their place, but the words and the speaker, one man or many, seem to defy the law of nature, defying the limits of the firmament and becoming an unstoppable force that cannot die. Once the fires of the heart are lit, no storm, however mighty or expanseful, can ever have the hope to extinguish it. We remember humanity by the special virtue and unbridled vices of a few. By these things the many find solace, sound guidance, discretion, and our posterity wellbeing, if we do not forget them. Many people find numerous things in life comparable to Eve, but within all these the fragility of humanity will forever amplify all these things, thus surpassing it by far. Perhaps CCP could adjust a few things in line with the heavy handed theme of Eve and have Concord destroy both Vessel AND pod in a high security act of violence on a neutral target, making at least a jump clone necessary while adding a new ISK sink for high level players.