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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27 Sept 2012

OOC Entry 46 - Go away powerblocs

I do not find myself agreeing with Poetic Stanziel's viewpoint very often, but the most recent post of that author made me nod in agreement all the way through.

The follow-up post by Mynnna also raised a few quite good points.

Since the issue is on, and since the two authors made me think about it, I will write down my thoughts here.

Both authors suggest, that a reduction of passive income will result in a pressure on the big powerblocs of nullsec. Most notably the ones involved in OTEC. They both speculate that the consequence will be that those alliances and coalitions might have to reduce in size and potentially give up space (great!), that they very likely can not afford every frivolity or game-wide trolling action anymore (even better), and that their players will have to do some active work to get some income (imagine that!).

If I read that and ponder such consequences, I can only hope for it to be true.

I don't understand the people of the big powerbloc alliances.

They have massive support behind them. No highsec player can run missions or mine as safely as they can: Protected by hundreds of friends and a local channel that tells the immediately when a hostile appears. Their spokespeople never get tired of telling everyone else how great nullsec life with them is. That is usually coupled with a healthy dose of arrogance projected against everyone else - especially highsec players and other nullsec entities that are not as great as they themselves think they are.

They achieve prominence in the EVE narrative with their wars and exploits. They dominate the CSM elections with their unified votes and they are basically unconquerable and unbeatable because of their sheer numbers.

Quite a few of them run many of their accounts entirely on PLEX because that is how much ISK they make in-game

One might think they have it all, but they still complain.

Each time something comes up about trying to reduce the amount of ISK or power those massive in-game entities have, someone is going to shout 'Nerf Highsec' with the certainty of Godwin's Law. Threats of unsubscribing, or at least ominous predictions of large drops in subscribers, usually follow.

People who point out how ridiculous all that moaning and gnashing of teeth is, often earn adversarial remarks or at least get told that nullsec is so empty of players, or that it's basically unacceptable to have to do PVE and that large powerblocs simply can not be sustained without massive ISK faucets.

Well, there you go.

As far as I am concerned, they should not be sustainable.

I say the powerblocs should collapse.

If you can afford to do a Burn Jita event and reimburse ships of suicide gankers all over EVE. If you can hold three complete regions while being a bunch of cheerfully incompetent trolls. If you can impersonate Russia by holding vast tracts of space where nobody else but Russians want to be, then you might just have more ISK than is good for the game as a whole.

The majority of people in EVE do their grinding, ratting, spreadsheet wizardry and logistic drudgery, and guess what: They are still enjoying themselves.

The ones who seriously dedicate themselves to PVP-only, try their best to make income from that (like pirates and ninja griefers), or they simply buy GTCs to finance their habit.

If the nullsec powers need to give up space, well maybe some dedicated people who want to start a new alliance out there can actually take it over. Listen to any of the latest few Lost in EVE episodes and you can hear how impossible that is now, even for the most ambitious startups.

At the end of the day it is not that highsec is so safe and so lucrative why players do not come to nullsec. It is because the big powerblocs have made it impossible for anyone to set up shop there.

As a sidenote, I would propose one major change to highsec: Incursion systems should have no CONCORD response. Not only would that make things more fun, it would also make one of the major ISK faucets of highsec space less easy to exploit. In addition to that, it would also make sense. I always considered it odd, that CONCORD would punish a capsuleer who shoots another, but they would completely ignore that fleet of cyberzombies who intend to abduct the populations of whole planets to add them to their ranks.

During an Incursion, capsuleers should be able to kill eachother freely. There would still be a sec hit and a GCC and all that, but no CONCORD.

Now back to the subject.

The ironic thing is, the major nullsec powers are the most attractive thing about EVE for the potential players on the outside. They create great videos and emergent gameplay that makes the general gaming news. At the same time, they are what makes people quit in frustration once they learn that you can not be part of anything that great without being a member of some special language community, a particular online community or by renting space or submitting in another way to a bigger power.

Sure there are ways to 'make a living' in EVE that are exciting and engaging, just not out in sov nullsec if you do not fulfill any of the above criteria.

If you want to experience what CCP videos like 'The Butterfly Effect' or 'I was there' advertise, you will find yourself realizing that the reality of the game is unfortunately much more stultified.

Things like in those trailers should be possible, though. The bold and the ambitious should have their chance to make it without having to bow and scrape before people who just put TCUs everywhere because they simply have the numbers and the ISK to do so.

There are people within the big powerbloc player-communities who actually are for measures that would be detrimental to their position. I hope CCP has the presence of mind to listen to them rather than the inevitable masses who will rage on the forums.

If CCP has that presence of mind, I hope even more, that they will introduce measures which make it easier for small alliances to establish themselves and harder for the bigger ones to stay as big as they are. Otherwise, things will become even worse.

For my part, I am happy with living in WH space. I like my little frontier village.

Still I think that nullsec needs to be opened up more for newer players to be able to achieve something.


  1. This is a great piece of writing. Thank you for the excellent read.

    1. another highsec pubbie detected! keep dreaming, but never learn how the game works!

  2. I think it's the second time ever i come to your blog but this article has definitely hooked me. Keep it up man.

  3. Power blocs collapse when the game mechanics no longer make them necessary.

  4. My name has 3 n's in it.

    Just fyi.

  5. Large alliance stay alive due to people working together to achieve something greater than any individual possibly could. This post sounds like an awful lot of whining.

    1. I mean about the blocs btw, the rest is good :)

    2. I am not so much whining myself as I am agreeing with other people's whining ... there's a difference ;)

      I really do not care so much about life in sov nullsec.

  6. Sorry, but " you can not be part of anything that great without being a member of some special language community, a particular online community or by renting space or submitting in another way to a bigger power." is completely and utterly wrong. Let me just link to major bloc corps recrutiing in E-UNI's workfair forums, (Repercussus in Razor) , (The Graduates, also of Razor)
    , (Ponywaffe, of TEST) , (Enlightened Industries, also of TEST), (Mercurialis Inc. , Razor) , (Cerulean Eagles, Li3 Federation, part of HBC)
    . This is just the first page, sorry if I missed someone. If you want to go out to nullsec, its not actually that hard, come out and join us.

    1. Umm, all of the corps you mentioned are part of either the HBC or the CFC which is exactly my point.

      Now I am aware that there are a few independents. You could have mentioned Black Legion, Rooks and Kings, Rote Kapelle, Hydra Reloaded ... although I am not sure any of those currently hold any sov.

    2. one of your points seemed to be that random people can't join big power blocks at all

      "The ironic thing is, the major nullsec powers are the most attractive thing about EVE for the potential players on the outside. They create great videos and emergent gameplay that makes the general gaming news. At the same time, they are what makes people quit in frustration once they learn that you can not be part of anything that great without being a member of some special language community, a particular online community or by renting space or submitting in another way to a bigger power."

      Players of various skillpoint levels regardless of special language or gaming community do certainly have the chance to join these corps, become an FC, and go lead the battles that make the headlines. If I wanted to, right now I could join FC bootcamp on my Test character who is NOT in Dreddit and start learning how to direct fights and after completing it be able to lead big fights.

    3. My choice of words was poor I guess. What I meant to say was not that you can not get to nullsec at all, but that you basically have to arrange for a way to become member of a big alliance to do big things.

      It is nearly impossible - I would propose - to get out there and build something big from the ground up without being somehow dependent on the major powers.

      The last time when someone really came in and did that was when Goons managed to break BoB and when TEST came into being (also largely supported by Goons). One could even argue, that even then it was already too hard. Goons and TEST only made it so far because they have a very well established OOG community and back in those days it seemed almost impossible to break the power of BoB.

  7. This article is so full of shit, it hurts. Op doesn't seem to have any clue about nullsec, gaming communities and eve in general.
    But I enjoy the sweet sweet highsec pubbie tears. so keep writing!

    1. Yeah, those hisec pubbie Emergent Patroller drones really are a pain... um, I'll get my coat.

  8. What about Providence and NPC null (e.g. Great Wildlands)?

    1. As far as I know, those areas doe see quite some activity and small alliances are active there. Of course I do not fly around everywhere all the time and I only know a certain amount of people.

      Also, someone plugged my post into reddit, and it is highly amusing to read the comments. Kudos to the one person who actually ripped apart my arguments sentence by sentence. I could do the same in reverse but if I make an account on reddit I might end up being sucked into TEST :D


    1. I like that this guy took the time to read my post and take it apart statement by statement. At least he paid attention and took the effort. I do not like his tone, but I guess that's how people discuss online.

      One thing I want to say in my defense is, yes I never lived in sov nullsec, but I have been there many times. I have read a lot about it and I have some RL friends who have played EVE and built alliances out there when none of the major powers of today even existed. Even today I have contacts who are part of what is going on out there and I regularly talk to them.

      I guess I am as well informed as someone who is not part of a current nullsec alliance can be, and I would actually go as far as saying that I have a bit less of a tunnelvision as a nullsec alliance member would have.

    2. Quit drinking your own kool-aid. Join a nullsec alliance and experience it. Then come back and read what you've just posted here. You'll realize how naive it really is.

    3. It may be that I am off by a long shot, but one thing I know for sure: There is nothing in EVE I aspire to less than being part of a nullsec sov-holding alliance. If I ever leave WH space it will be to either become part of a merc crew or a pirate corp or to become a solo PVPer.

      I am simply not cut out for that mass-movement territorial stuff.

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