Montolio, leader of Test Alliance Please Ignore and the Honey Badger Coalition (HBC), and Shadoo, leader of Pandemic Legion (PL), announced a game changing idea during the Test Alliance SOTA [link].
It’s being packaged and sold as an “alternative” to sovereignty (SOV) grinds and is what could be the future of Nullsec confrontations. That is to say, staged battles or as Shadoo calls it, War Games. The Honey Badgers Coalition and Clusterfuck Coalition (CFC) have been in closed door negotiations, with PL mediating, for what can only be called organized, staged fights.
Are the days of large organic, emergent, Nullsec battles gone?
The crux of this decision is said to be based on the flawed SOV gaming mechanics, making the idea of grinding out SOV about as appealing as slamming your thumb in a door. Repeatedly.
“We often make jokes about Sun Tzu and the pubbies who cite him, (…) people who don’t know the first thing about SOV war ,” says The Mittani, leader of the Goonswarm Federation and the CFC in his “Art of Nullsec War” article on Ten Ton Hammer.
The Mittani continues;
“You should be careful when it comes to making pleasant, politically-motivated shout-outs to your autocrat buddies, because you might look like a complete nit a few years later after said autocrat buddies utterly shit the bed and lose all their space in a stunning display combining both neglect and incompetence.”
With all the flamboyant and colorful word play, it’s probably a different story these days as the two biggest power blocs go to great lengths to avoid war at all costs. Even if it means creating an Eve Online where the “cold and harsh” Null space metamorphoses into the tame, nervous, and effeminate Caspar Milquetoast of the digital gaming era.
Staged battles are already commonplace within the HBC and opposing forces frequently meet one another in and around Delve space. Shadoo, mastermind behind the plan had this to say;
“We already organize a lot of the smaller fights we get into,” [Source]. “So, how about we stop pretending there’s not a form of “organized fights” already going on. Almost every 1000+ member fight you’ve been in has had people asking other people to come along to some far off system they don’t care about, but they should totally do so anyway for ~good fights~.” It has become a commonplace event for two fleet commanders to plan beforehand the time and location of “good fights,”
The sum of this is making Nullsec battles more predictable and less risky. The idea of defeating superior numbers because of spying, splitting the battlefield or through misdirection and other military deception tactics is a thing of the past as opposing fleets meet at predetermined locations to brawl it out. In fact, according to Shadoo, these up-and-coming organized War Games are planned to occur in an already predetermined Region of space.
When the biggest groups in the game get together and plan something on this scale, you’d think it’d be hard to conceal the true theft that is Eve Online game play. In fact, it appears it’s pretty easy.
“And while we’re doing this — lets show everyone how <expletive> this shit really is and how it’s time for CCP to acknowledge the sandbox has overflown and it’s fucking time they put in some borders,” says Shadoo.
So the propaganda plan seems to be, “Blame CCP while we conceal the fact everyone is really just fat and happy in Nullsec”. With easy access to media and in some cases, outright controlling the media outlet, it’s easy to plant articles in mittens.com , or use friendly connections to get onto podcasts from Kugu and use the state of the game broadcasts by TEST Alliance to get news out to 30,000 plus players at once. In fact, it is very easy to divert attention to something seemingly as big as this.
Within these two coalitions, the idea that SOV warfare would take years to do is true in the current state of the game. However, the reason for this is not CCPs fault, but lies in the laps of the huge coalitions who’ve blued nearly all of 0.0 space. Everyone is so rich right now it’s not even a matter of ISK loss and ship replacement anymore. When speaking on replacing lost assets from a battle, Shadoo adds:
“It’s not the isk (…) lets be real. Losing 50 carriers, 100 carriers or capitols ain’t going to matter shit,” “Shit on Kugu – Ep 26” podcast [ Source ]. When speaking of replacing lost assets in a battle he added, “It’s just a logistical issue, not a financial issue.”
When all is said and done, the real reasons for the avoidance of war is the thought of losing all they’ve built.
“The reason, for this VERY <expletive> and VERY DUMB idea was the realization that EVE is now so polarized that the only war soon left to be fought would be one most of us would not come out of still playing EVE.”, Shadoo contintued in his article [Source - Shadoo Wargames piece].
When warfare is done as a coalition the size of the HBC and CFC, the size of the space needed to conquer is going to be much greater in order to divide the spoils of war evenly and keep their allies fat and happy. If the idea of coalitions was something CCP Games wanted, or could have conceived of; it is likely they would have built a system into Eve Online to support coalitions by now. It’s not likely CCP Games ever thought SOV warfare was going to evolve into the size and scope created by the likes of the HBC, CFC and PL.
Is this the future of Eve Online? Will this future survive with the likes of these three groups of players controlling the overall landscape and direction of this game? If there is one person out there that can save Eve Online and ensure its longevity, it has got to be Montolio. He has, on several occasions, made an effort to bring about the big fight. The large, some say inevitable, HBC and CFC battle. However, with things like these War Game ideas, and with PL as the wind in the sail, it’s easy to see the real leaders of Nullsec aren’t yet ready to give up their cushy, ISK filled seats of power.
Let’s hope Montolio gets his way one day and the biggest battle ever seen in Eve detonates in hate-filled raging-login paroxysm of spaceship explosions. Hopefully before Eve Online closes it’s doors forever.
Considering how much The Mittani has railed against e-honor in the past. Have Goons, TEST, HBC and the CFC become the BoB monster that they once set out to slay? Now they are honorably agreeing to not siege each other’s sovereignty or moons and just blow up ships en-masse. The weak excuse being “Sov Grind is shit”. They know that bored players don’t log in, players that don’t log in don’t grind rats for ISK, don’t manage moons, or blow each other up. Bored players that don’t log in means that Null stagnates as a result. It could be a noble attempt to keep null alive and point out the obvious and glaring flaws with Sov conflict at the same time. Or perhaps it could simply be to manipulate markets for their own personal financial benefit.