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

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

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

15 Jul 2013

OOC Entry 91 - Cultural Stumbling Blocks

As the Fountain War draws on, it reveals more and more about the culture of the opponents, and that cultural difference does not favour TEST at all as far as the conflict is concerned.

If there ever was a time when running a Sov-holding nullsec alliance was not really serious business, then it is long gone. Just being in it "for the lolz" is not going to work anymore when facing a determined and powerful opponent, and this war is evidence of that.

I am not going to speculate here about who is winning and why that might be the case, but it is evident that TEST are struggling with a few internal issues that the CFC are not suffering from, and it hinders their efforts.


I am not talking about the level of personal maturity of the players here, but about the alliances involved as in-game entities.

On the CFC side there are several entities who have grown and matured over a much longer period than TEST have. Most of the CFC are much older and more well established than TEST. Goonswarm - for example - have been through several major wars, Gentlemen's Agreement have a tradition of well organized PVP and Razor have been part of larger organisations for a long part of their history and know how to fit in and cooperate.

When it comes to the in-game age of the players, the CFC are also at an advantage. Goonswarm might be accepting completely new players just like TEST does, but the other alliances of the CFC have a much higher bar for entry. The percentage of really inexperienced players in the CFC as a whole is much lower than within TEST. What that means is, that the CFC has a broader range of doctrines they can field, because their pilots can fly more different ships. The players will have more disposable ISK which they have acquired over time which takes more of the financial burden away from the alliance. Of course the CFC will also be able to field more experienced FCs than the opposition.

TEST - on the other hand - have been very aggressive in their recruiting of new players. While it is nice of them to offer the opportunity for so many newbies to get to nullsec, it resulted in a situation where too few experienced players will have to take care of too many inexperienced ones. That occupies time which those experienced players would otherwise be able to devote to organisation and implementation of strategic operations.

That crowding-out is proving to be problematic and it would make sense for TEST to try and attract more experienced players who can take over leadership positions or at least help the newbies and thereby make room for the alliance leadership to take care of strategic planning.


This point ties in directly with the above and mainly concerns TEST and Goonswarm because they are the groups with the largest number of new players.

Goonswarm has been very good at this traditionally. They have always provided a lot of information for their new players which they can refer to and learn what they need to know easily without even having to log in to the game. Even more so, the educational principles of Goonswarm have every aspect of indoctrination as one would see in a totalitarian regime or a religious sect. Everything the new Goons get taught is preparing them for fitting in to the larger structure. Undesired skills are actively discouraged while desired ones are reinforced at every turn.

TEST has nothing comparable in place. Of course there is knowledge transfer, but not on the scale and streamlined efficiency that their opponents can offer new players. That aggravates the problem of the many new players TEST need to get into meaningful roles for their campaign.

Leadership and Organisation

That is most probably the most glaring and problematic difference. The CFC have an experienced leader, and this leader has a very experienced and competent cadre of helpers who are fulfilling specialized roles very well. TEST leadership has recently fallen into new hands and for the most part the core group of TEST is neither large nor experienced enough to manage a single alliance of the size they are dealing with.

The CFC is also comprised of more than one alliance of course. Those alliances have their own leadership and organisational structure in place. That frees up a lot of capacity for the coalition leaders for to think and plan on a more strategic level rather than needing to micromanage.

As far as the culture of Goonswarm is concerned, they are coming from a communal background and are very much used to groupthink. The dedication of the average Goon to the alliance is very similar to a member of an idiological or religious affinity group. Not only does that serve very well to motivate themselves, but it also inspires their coalition allies.

TEST are by nature more anarchic and chaotic. Sure, they also come from an out-of-game community, but by no means one that is as hierarchical and organised as the Goonswarm culture. The comparison that comes to my mind is a popular movement or a guerilla when compared to a military organisation with it's own bureaucracy and logistics in place.

The amount of metagame infrastructure that the CFC have available is pretty staggering. Be it communications, organisational hierarchy, playing the in-game markets, espionage or propaganda. The CFC are superior to their opponents in every one of those aspects.

In Conclusion

This war is showing the merits of the current Goonswarm leadership model in EVE like none has done before. In previous confrontations, The CFC could not shine like they do now because most of their achievements were written off as just winning by numbers. In this war, the potential military strength on both sides is comparable - at least for as long as N3, NC. and PL stay fighting on the side of TEST. In this case, the decisive factor will not be sheer numbers. Despite the rumours of TEST being on the verge of bankruptcy, I would argue that not even finances will be as decisive as the organisational culture and structure of the opposing sides.

If TEST do not manage to overcome their cultural hurdles, deciding this conflict in their favour will be very difficult.

So far TEST alliance has not really managed to forge the anti-CFC sentiment which brought allies to their side into a single purpose that can carry an organisational structure which rivals that of the CFC. 

The question is: Will they manage to do that before it is too late? "Grrr Goons" will not suffice in the long run.

Then again, maybe TEST do not want to change, maybe they actually shouldn't change. It may be argued, that there are already enough "serious business" alliances and coalitions in EVE, and that a group which takes things more lightly is a good thing.

Whether such a group can actually win a war against the CFC remains to be seen. 

9 Jul 2013

OOC Entry 90 - EVE is Nigeria

I am not a football follower. I am not a follower of sports at all. But I do listen to BBC World Service a lot and today there was a piece of football news that made their headlines.

Two Nigerian football teams were supposed to go into a playoff round for promotion in the league, and they were tied as far as points were concerned. The only way to ensure their promotion was to get above everyone else in goal difference.

They decided to make that goal difference count by playing their matches 79-0 and 67-0.

I really had to laugh at this. The whole thing is just so EVE style. Such blatant match fixing (metagame) and then even the names of the teams: Plateau United Feeders and Police Machine.

The whole thing can not even be called just match fixing anymore, it is an absolute and utter trolling action. The vast majority of those goals were also scored in the second half, averaging one goal every 35 seconds.

Anybody remember the finals of Alliance Tournament IX .

In an interview I heard on BBC World they asked a Nigerian Football Federation official how this was even possible and he was talking about how corruption was so endemic to Nigeria and money is ruling everything. That this blatant action was just a sign of how much people don't give a damn about appearances anymore and just do whatever they (think they) can get away with.

Everyone who has been online for some time is of course familiar with the so called Nigerian Scam. Organized crime gangs from Nigeria are a major problem around the continent. Especially South Africa. Nigerian Mercenaries are often mentioned as the most ruthlessly opportunistic guns-for-hire you can get in Africa.*

On the positive side, Nigerian people are also generally seen as very diligent and determined workers who will first plan things well before they put their operations in motion. They are typically avid traders, very flexible and adaptive and often very community minded. (I guess those attitudes also work out well for the criminals)

For example, within the local African Immigrant Community of the city I live in, one Nigerian woman set up a network of time-exchange child care for mothers who can not afford to put their children in creches. She spent two years working the whole thing out and then she just implemented a system within a few weeks where dozens of mothers keep in touch with each-other and synchronise their schedules so that they always have someone somewhere close-by who can look after their children and they will do it for another the next time.

The woman who set it all up described it herself as "A very Nigerian way of doing things. Fixing a problem in the most effective way after thinking and planning for a long time."

Does all that not sound really familiar?

I personally have come to the conclusion that EVE is the Nigeria among the MMOs.


P.S. No Nigerians or EVE players were hurt for the production of this post.

P.P.S. I neither want to stereotypically portray either Nigerians or EVE players in a negative (or stereotypically positive) way. I just want to point at some similarities when looking at both groups in a very generalised picture.

* I could put source material here but then the text would be full of links. Just google terms like 'Nigerian Organised Crime in Africa' and 'Nigerian Mercenaries' and you will find enough.

6 Jul 2013

OOC Entry 89 - Protagonist Deconstruction

Finally I found the time to continue my story.

One might think that without going to work and being physically weak, there's plenty of time for everything, but somehow I manage to fill my day with all kinds of things. Mostly physical training which is making progress.

But I don't want to write about myself. I want to write about the story.

So far I have put almost all of my protagonists through some sort of crisis. Keram had his past catch up with him and the consequences were pretty painful. Cedrien had to endure some pretty heavy emotional trauma. Sylera found herself ripped from the society she was dedicated to and then of course things turned even worse. Alira generally has her moments of weakness when she is losing control over herself, and of course now she is in an uncertain state being merged with Sleeper consciousness.

I did leave Shisei alone coming to think of it. Then again he's such a calm and balanced character. Well I guess eventually he will have his moment of crisis too.

The one who stands out most, however, is probably Sandrielle. She went through lots of dangerous situations and she certainly has terrible things happen to her in her past, but during all the stories she is always in control. She's always one step ahead of everyone else, she outwits and outfights every opponent so far, and nobody can break through her emotional barriers.

That ends now.

Enjoy :)

5 Jul 2013

OOC Entry 88 - In Defense of CCP

As you have probably heard, the so called Fountain War saw a massive battle in the system Z9PP-H.

More than 2200 ships participated, and of course the immense amount of players congregating lead to serious overload for the node that ran the system. I don't want to go any further into the details of what happened, because Ali Aras already wrote about it and CCP Falcon explained what had happened as well.

What I want to address here is the reaction of what I hope is only a vocal minority of the players involved.

The TL;DR version is: Shut up you spoilt children!

To elaborate ...

I have been working as systems administrator and systems engineer for almost two decades, and I am also familiar with HPC cluster setups like the one CCP is using to run EVE. With their "Single Shard Universe" they have not made it easy for themselves to keep everything running as it ideally should.

Now we see two massive powers fighting, and CCP is doing what they can to make things work so all those people can have their great fleet battles. This time 'round CCP failed to prepare in advance. It's great of them to even do so in the first place. But well, sometimes even sysadmins have to have some time off and can't stay watching things all night long.

It looks like the whole thing happened at a time when most staff would be at home, relaxing, maybe sleeping, maybe out drinking. In short, they were doing what they are entitled to: Enjoying their free time.

Well, CCP even scrambles some technicians during off-duty hours to make it possible that some other people can have their personal brand of free time enjoyment. Those technicians, or someone who was instructing them, made a mistake and a fleet battle was cut short.

What results is the most uncalled for nerdrage imaginable. People are calling CCP everything under the sun. An individual calling himself Sion Kumitomo writes an open letter to CCP where he states that "incompetence is worse than malice."

Does this guy even know what he is saying there?

Riverini of EN24 goes ahead and quotes someone who he considers to "sum up pretty much what’s the word around the players [he (Riverini) has] talked to.

That mastermind of analytical thinking concludes that " CCP got greedy. It’s no coincidence that they decided to re-map the node as figures were peaking. They saw all those juicy potential subs." and that "they did it for themselves, not for the players."

Where does all that paranoia come from?

Of course CCP is a company that wants to have good publicity and make money, but they are also a rather small company and they operate with tight human resources. As someone who knows what that is like and what a complex system they are running there, I can see all the signs of a company who are prepared to go the extra mile to keep their customers happy and to make impressive events like massive fleet battles possible.

Is it really so difficult to give them the benefit of the doubt? What has CCP ever done to make all those people so incredibly angry at them?

My personal answer - despite all Incarna debacles, glitched expansion deployments and other slipups: Nothing!

What I see is exactly what I have come to hate with a vengeance throughout my years in the IT industry: Users behaving like spoilt little children who think that mommy only exists to fulfil their every wish and who throw a temper tantrum if mommy doesn't.

The sense of entitlement those people have honestly makes me sick, and my heartfelt support goes out to all the CCP people who run from their homes, their friends, their children, their loved ones to make it possible that some raging nerds with their bloated fleets can keep pressing F1 for the rest of the night.

Get real people. It's not some mission critical application that lives or resources depend on. It's a game which you pay as much for in a month as it would cost to go to a movie and have some popcorn and drinks with it. It's not the world.

Try to behave like adults.

I have to give credit to Poetic Stanziel here for remaining level headed.

People should take him as an example and not behave like the frothing-at-the-mouth CFC people in this thread.