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Image credit to Razorien ** We would also like to credit and thank Imperium News for the shared use of this picture.

In many ways reddit revolutionized the way the Eve community interacts. The official Eve Online forums tend to be too moderated offering none of that “bite” which makes destroying your enemy’s stuff so enjoyable. TheMittanidotCom’s forum (INN before the brand renaming) was a massive failure despite the site’s popularity at the time and having the financial and numeric backing of the game’s largest coalition. Even EN24’s attempt at creating an Eve based forum fell short of its goals garnering only momentary interest before being forgotten. However reddit was an “anything goes” zone where people could post just about whatever they wanted without having a political arm holding a weight over their head. That is not to say there are no consequences at all. When a multitude of alliances unified together to fight the Imperium after Goons announced their Viceroyalty campaign, then Imperium diplomat, Sion Kumitomo, wrote a piece denouncing reddit as a “non-community.” This only amplified the backlash leading to the destruction of the Imperium’s chances of maintaining any control over the narrative of the war.

 

Reddit has served the Eve community very well in that regard. Today whenever anything big happens it usually hits reddit before any of the major news outlets in Eve media. It’s quickly accessible and admins provide a long leash on members to discuss more or less anything. Discussion is fluid, continuous and sometimes even anonymous as people often make throw away accounts or use tags of different alliances. Unfortunately reddit also carries with it some limitations.

 

Truth becomes a democracy. What I mean by that is that reddit lets the masses vote for what is seen and what is not. This is based on social relations, contacts, and links both seen and unseen. One may post a set of long organized paragraphs regarding the game community but depending on whether it is someone like Elise with approval from his friends, or a random unknown, the reaction can vary from “what a good post!” to “lol tldr who cares.” That’s not to say only popular people get good reactions on reddit or that if you get down voted your post wasn’t terrible, but it’s important to recognize how social relations colors people’s perceptions of what is said.

 

A classical forum layout where your posts do not get washed away within a day and discussions can develop on a particular topic for weeks or even months. This helps deal with the fickle “bubble gum” posting that makes up most of reddit. This isn’t to say reddit doesn’t have a place, but a traditional forum style community for Eve has been missing for quite some time…until now.

 

Kugu is a familiar name for older Eve players. It can be argued that it was the central community meeting place for Eve players before reddit before it disappeared. With that memory in mind, a number of Eve players have come together to bring back the site. But how would it compare in today’s Eve with reddit playing such a prominent role? It’s important to understand is that kugu and reddit are not competitors. They do very different things and both have a role for the intelligent Eve player. Reddit still acts as the instant and fast source of information. If a big fight happens or someone makes a propaganda video or picture, it’ll be on reddit first. Kugu is for more prolonged discussions with threads focusing on a specific region or a campaign. The other unique aspect is that Kugu incubates and cements the rivalries and “negative sentiments” that often make up some of our most exciting conflicts in Eve. If you are someone like me who considers Eve to be a game primarily about conflict, this should be very attractive to you. Eve simply does not work without these conflict tensions. Kugu’s structure has historically been very productive when it comes to instigating conflict.

 

The other key factor of difference is that while reddit acts as a massive dump of open source intel, kugu can provide one access with leaks via foreplay. What is foreplay? It’s a private sub section on kugu for people that enjoy playing the meta. Specifically, members are expected to contribute leaked logs and other secret communications through their own experience or that of their spies. Some of it is simply for a good laugh, but a good bit of it has strategic and tactical importance depending on who you may be and how capable you are. For example NCdot and InitiativeDOT (along with their respective allies) have been engaged in a prolonged conflict over moons in Syndicate for the past few months. Both alliances drew blood back and forth and made use of their respective allies and diplomatic ties in order to gain an edge. On April 20th Init’s coordination channel logs were leaked on foreplay (by yours truly) and a couple of days later the alliance was announcing its retreat to Querious. Having your coordination logs out there for other meta minded individuals can be a serious blow to the confidence and trust of an alliance.

 

There are many layers to the Eve community and each plays a vital role. For now, one would be hard pressed to imagine a replacement for reddit. It’s freeform and uncontrolled nature makes it an invaluable tool. At the same time, other jobs require a bit more finesse and calculations. Conversations and engagements need more time and development to create something different. Kugu shows promise in being that layer of the community that is deliberate and immersed in some of the deeper levels of Eve’s social engineering landscape and providing players another way to enhance their gameplay is exactly what Kugu has done in the past, and what it can work to do now in its resurrected form. Those who take advantage of this platform will reap its benefits, while those who do not may end up as someone else’s piece on the board for a game they had no idea they were a part of.

 

 

Edit: The aforementioned Init logs that were leaked have just been made public on Kugu.

 

Enjoy responsibly.

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