At the end, I will present the raw unedited logs of Co2’s head diplomat, Da Winci, negotiating and navigating the turbulent waters of WWB and shaping the future of tens of thousands of players in Eve Online. I share these logs with Da Winci’s full permission.
One of the oft-cited reasons for people joining Eve Online is the meta gaming. Meta gaming is an aspect of Eve Online that is not necessarily played inside the game itself. Instead if revolves around soft power, negotiating, espionage and even deception. The stories of backroom deals, coercion, diplomacy, and betrayal are encouraged, distinctive aspects of Eve which make it unique among online games. The most publicized and well known instance is of course the defection of Haargoth from Band of Brothers. Although this event lacked most of the negotiating, diplomacy, or even much “meta gaming craft” one might assume, it nonetheless grasped the imagination of many players as a defining moment in meta gaming history. Objectively speaking, Haargoth was just a burned out Eve player that had director roles in Band of Brothers, “walked in” to Goons and hit the disband button after a chat. This story is often romanticized for political reasons and a lot of extraneous detailing is added in order to play up what actually happened. I’m not saying this in order to dismiss a very fascinating part of Eve history, but simply putting this in perspective and drawing a contrast. Co2’s defection is a bit more complex as a prolonged event spanning several months.
The logs will show that, contrary to what some have claimed, Co2’s head diplomat, Da Winci, was not “trying to betray the Imperium from the start.” Instead you see a reluctance, distrust and even defiance as I try to convince him to leave his coalition. We butt heads, disagree, and argue. Diplomacy is messy and we both willfully leave the words as they are for others to read. My initial goal was for Co2’s defection to kick off WWB, rather than being the event that essentially ended any serious possibility for the Imperium to push back against the MBC. Even once Co2 had defected, many, including myself, still considered the possibility of it all being a ruse. Throughout our discussion I am pulling and prying at Da Winci as he considers the consequences of his actions. Defect too soon and the rest of the coalition could spring on Co2 as the rest of MBC stands by and just watches. Wait too long and Co2’s value might decrease too far for anyone on the MBC side to care. Throughout our negotiations considering the pros and cons, the defection landed perhaps in the most opportune time. I’ve documented a full analysis complete with quotes from other notable members and leaders of the Eve community can be read here:
I strongly recommend reading these pieces in order to get the context of the raw logs themselves.
Why am I releasing this now? First, the logs are new information that no one except Da Winci and I has ever seen. Enough time has passed where they are no longer sensitive to a harmful degree to those involved. Secondly, this is a part of Eve history and the kind of story that will attract more players. Lastly, in the wake of the defection, plenty of people attempted to hijack the events by claiming to be “the architect of the flip” in order to gain some form of notoriety. Da Winci and I are happy to help dismiss any such delusions. Most importantly, nobody “flipped Co2.” That would imply Co2 had no agency or choice in its decision. The defection occurred because of our negotiations and the Imperium’s poor handling of diplomacy with Co2.
A lot of what we discussed was also over voice and in smatterings over other joint chatrooms. Because of this some of the lines might seem random or out of context, but everything in our direct correspondence from December 20th 2015 to April 8th 2016 is presented here:
(For those that may not be inclined to read through that much text I’ll post the “play of the game” moment.)
[3/23/2016 5:56:49 PM] Seraph Basarab: How many cfc members do you think still feel that siding with goons is in their best interest?
[3/23/2016 6:15:15 PM] Da_Winci: If I had the headspace to bother I’d tell you. RL doesn’t give me any room to bother atm
[3/23/2016 6:15:58 PM] Seraph Basarab: I understand. Some things are more important than this game. Most things are.
[3/23/2016 7:24:40 PM] Da_Winci: Make me an offer concerning co2 – bastion and lawn. In the next 24hrs if possible.
[3/23/2016 7:50:07 PM] Seraph Basarab: So this deal would be for all three? Are the other two parties in the know regarding our talks or do you plan on bringing them aboard once an offer is made?
[3/24/2016 2:10:57 AM] Da_Winci: I talk for co2 ofc and co2 alone. I talk continuously with them and the time has come. For this to work we need more than co2 alone. I have a meeting with them in 12hours on this subject.