riverini’s note: I took what I felt was a theory-crafting article and turned it into a overview piece of the two null-sec conflicts going on right now. You can read the original here.
Dark Angel is a old EVE player; having spent time in Null-Sec, Empire, Providence and some times in Wormholes his knowledge of EVE crap is endless, and mostly useless. Complaints can be filed in the round filing bin on the left, but if you really want to bother him feel free to email. DarkAngelPrime [at] gmail dot com
Seraphim’s Corner – On current Null-Sec Wars and Realities
From the outside looking in, there is a problem that has been brewing for nullsec residents… not to mention all of EVE.
We have a situation brewing where one group of pilots might very well be able to take over all worthwhile space in New Eden.
Two allies, the Deklein Coalition (a.k.a. the C.F.C.) and the self proclaimed independent PL/TEST SubSet (a.k.a. H.B.C.), centered around Goonswarm and Pandemic Legion / TEST respectively. Each count with an overwhelming amount of numbers by themselves which then are added up to their large standings list. Put all together they represent a fighting force of well beyond 35,000 pilots and alts.
Their main hegemony contenders are the three coalitions led by Against ALL Authorities, NCdot and SOLAR FLEET. While not allied directly with one another, they are certainly on the same side of the fence at this point. By either necessity or sheer arrogance all these entities pride themselves in fighting outnumbered, tending to rely on better tactics, more expensive ships and fittings and kiting enemy fleets to win the day. However that advantage can be turned quickly as the DekCo have been adapting with better fleet comps and their ever growing numbers to hold the field.
So lets take a quick tour of the current battle zones, like the old Northern Coalition before them, the DekCo is fighting several wars on different fronts, which is a good thing when you happen to control half null-sec sov – given than the otherwise ensuing stagnation would force CCP Game’s hand into action, putting a hit into what is +35,000 of their loyal customer base.
In the North you have GoonSwarm Federation leading the pack, on the offensive vs NCDOT and their limited allies. A war centered around the now devaluing Tech Moon economy, the DekCo can outnumber the NCDOT friends in almost every time zone, however that at least ensures a good fight for the DOT Brothers – called this way given their knack for putting a dot (.) at the end of their alliances. They have been fighting an uphill defense, specially in recent days where loses has been heavier, as shown by this this past Sunday’s event in which they lost 30+ capitals without support and betting on the DekCo response time – a bet which they ultimatedly lost.
Against All Authorities is the only active entity with space left in the South at this moment. Their current enemies are the self proclaimed Independent Democratic Republic of the Honey Badgers – seen by many outside their sphere of influence as a necessity rather than a consequence. Since it is plausible to claim that null-sec has long turned an “US vs THEM” situation, one which is directly tied to the overwhelming numbers the nodes are capable to handle in this post-TiDi world of ours.
As shown by Delve IV (or V depending on who you ask) – there is one i-Win button CCP Games haven’t been arsed into fixing; like pre-nerf super-capitals and tracking titans before them, the blob makes any engagement a one side affair. DekCo strategist are well aware of this and decided to split forces.
The much discussed schism from within the Deklein Coalition haven’t stopped many from pointing the obvious pandering and the fact that it is Pandemic Legion who leads the Pack while TEST Alliance gets credit billing since they bring most of the pilots and both keep their blue standings toward the GoonSwarm Federation and their allies.
Pandemic Legion is an interesting husk to stare at, with the days of dropping titans/super-capitals and claiming the field well behind them, they seemed hopeless in this recent “numbers-win-the-war” reality of Eve Online, the only way to keep up was to “team up” with TEST’s numbers (which are pretty much second to GoonSwarm Federation’s) and play the “new” game. Which yielded interesting results since taming the TEST beast hasn’t been easy for Pandemic Legion – but an Alpha dog knows how to impose their authority into the pack and good number of good fights has claimed to their favor.
The russian lead Against All Authorities is at this moment in weak spot with a good majority of their numbers at the end leg of the holiday season, this hasn’t avoided -A- and allies to make an attempt and put a decent fight until the holidays are over, roughly in a couple weeks from now.
While PL/TEST shifted from the offensive to the defensive in the South, Goons have recently shifted from the defensive to offensive. Both sides seemed to have reached a point of sluggishness and predictability. Both conflicts have, for the most part, been static wars, but both PL/TEST and GSF seem to be “winning” the structure phase of the conflicts. Using their broad time zone coverage to prevent the loss of anything important, structure wise, with the threat of the trump card that is PL’s super capital fleet in the South to keep fights, for the most part, subcaps where Pandemic Legion and TEST Alliance holds the important numbers advantage. GoonSwarm Federation have been able to use their time zone coverage to their advantage as well, albeit – unexpectedly – showing a weaker US Time zone, Still pressure has been on DOT Brothers side. UMI-KK being successfully contested by the DekCo is a good example of this.
Even if -A- were to stop attacking Delve, the fighting would likely continue. However, it is unlikely that TEST has any desire to hold -A-’s space, other than to deny -A- that space, which is a weak reason to pay sov bills in an alliance already on the edge financially. Though, TEST seems to be opening up to the idea of having renters or pets hold space simply to deny the space to enemies, so it isn’t completely out of the question for TEST to eventually switch to the offensive again in the future.
It takes a quick look into the Sov Map to get a bleak feeling out of the mid term null-sec prospect. Two very focused conflicts do not warrant a healthy overall prognosis of Eve Online null sec.
In the north the GoonSwarm Federation and allies can afford the luxury of losing battles to DOT Brothers and still hold the field due to their overwhelming numbers. Something which had happened more often than the DOT Brothers would care to admit. In the South a serious push for Against All Authorities sovereign has been all but attempted by Pandemic Legion and TEST Alliance who seem more concerned into taking the training wheels off their grunts and setting up a good amount of buffer alliances between them and their home systems.
What about SOLAR FLEET?
SOLAR FLEET is the wild card in this game, a 1,600 entity whose feeder alliance, SOLAR CITIZENS is in fact the third largest entity in game. There has been a lot said about how SOLAR FLEET will come to bring the good fights and numbers to any of the non-DekCo entities. Something which comes mostly as a pipe dream since the only efforts one can attest from this entity in recent history is helping the odd B-class alliance with hotdrops and securing Geminate given than NCDOT is quite busy up north. So don’t get your hopes up with SOLAR FLEET coming to the rescue or changing the panorama, specially since NCDOT and SOLAR FLEET share a rocky past.
Should the Deklein Coalition wish to, there is nothing stopping them from simply banding up and taking most of the sov map, apart from their self imposed moderation and this is reality which will remain at least until next year. That’s it, of course, unless apathy kicks in for any of their members.
For the ones on the receiving end – DOT Bros and -A- all is left is to sit back and enjoy the rough ride, since even wild possibility of banding together would result in a defeat once the numbers card is played. The blob as an i-Win device is something which CCP Games and the CSM should look into deeply before the problem gets out of hand – doing this while keeping the sandbox essence of EVE Online is indeed a daunting task. On the other hand, if having large amount of players blued up and banding together was CCP’s solution to their perennial “drive people out of high-sec” dilema, then don’t expect changes any time soon™.