Disclaimer: The author of this article is a member of Red Alert Coalition, a small Great Wildlands-based entity, and whilst he is not affiliated with FI.RE Coalition or #RekkinCrew, Red Alert Coalition has been aligned with FI.RE in the conflict.
This story, like so many others in EVE, focuses around the actions of one man; a pilot by the name of Exterminatus Illexis. Depending upon who you ask, this was either a plot to give Exterminatus’ friends a staging ground from which to attack FI.RE’s deeper holdings, or a last cry for content before taking his corp out of the region.
Our story doesn’t begin with Exterminatus, though, or with his Dragons of Yggdrasil; to understand this tale, we need to focus on another alliance from across the galaxy: Dreadbomb.
Along with a number of other RC alliances, Dreadbomb elected not to deploy to Delve, and to avoid the massive blue list that came with being a member of PAPI.
Starved of content, they kicked off a campaign in Great Wildlands. They deployed along with DWTSA to ZJ-GOU, a system from which they could hit targets belonging to three local groups: Valkyrie Alliance of FI.RE, the ex-Provibloc holders in Red Alert Coalition, and the older NRDS conglomerate in the region. That was a month ago.
A singular Athanor kill against Total Eclipse. and a 27 billion ISK blowout in favor of Valkyrie Alliance are the highlights of a campaign which has thus far been characterized by blueballs from whichever side didn’t have the timezone advantage.
In earlier timezones, the Great Wildlands native groups enjoyed a significant upper hand numerically, but from 21:00 onwards, it was Dreadbomb. & DWTSA who had enjoyed the majority of the timer victories due to their heavy armor ships and capital ship advantage.
Exterminatus, the theory goes, had a plan to invite Dreadbomb into the heart of Scalding Pass: he would set his timers to US timezone to make them incredibly difficult for the majority Russian Final Reunion (FI.RE) coalition to contest, and once the timezones had successfully changed, he would flip sides and take his small alliance of Dragons of Yggdrasil over to attack FI.RE and the GW locals with Dreadbomb.
For his part, Exterminatus said that talk of a plot was “paranoia”, and that the timezone switch was “an attempt to get more content out of the citadels” and because of his lack of playing time, he was planning to move his corp out of the region anyway.
He did concede that relations with FI.RE had been strained for a while, though, saying that he was “fed up” with their approach to Diplomacy and “getting better deals elsewhere”. Despite their blue standings, he had no intention of sticking with FI.RE in the long term.
He made the choice: he switched the timers.
Upon learning about the switch, Valkyrie Alliance immediately set out on long fleets to reinforce everything Dragons of Yggdrasil owned before the citadels were put into an incredibly hostile timezone for them to deal with. Switching timers is a process which takes a month before it goes into effect, but FI.RE didn’t realize they’d been changed until quite late into the process, so this would be a significant effort.
The reinforcement spree took up much of last week for Valkyrie Alliance, and the result was that a huge number of structure kill timers all landed on one day: yesterday. An epic nine hour CTA was called for Valkyrie Alliance and Synergy of Steel, along with some members of other FI.RE alliances and a contingent from Red Alert Coalition.
The two major timers — an Azbel and a Tatara — also drew significant support from the rest of FI.RE. Dreadbomb & DWTSA formed to defend the Tatara in support of Dragons of Yggdrasil, but they didn’t form enough to contest even with their liberal use of batphones, and the structure went down without a fight.
In total, the damage inflicted on Dragons of Yggdrasil in one day totaled over 31 billion ISK and the loss of almost all of their infrastructure in Scalding Pass. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but to an alliance with a small number of active pilots, it’s a hefty amount of ISK, not to mention the doubtless asset safety fees & lost jobs/market orders piling on top of that. Exterminatus gathered his active pilots into a new Corporation, Unmarked Discrete Packaging, and took the corporation into Dreadbomb.
He maintained that this wasn’t something he’d decided before FI.RE started attacking him, but he did concede that it was one of the offers he’d been considering due to his history with their leader: “I have a lot going on IRL and have historically had a good relationship with Seddow and the rest of their command team.”
Solarsystems, the head diplo of FI.RE coalition and a member of Razor‘s leading troika, dismissed his explanation outright. “When it was noticed that they were changing their timers we found it suspicious so we of course dispatched scouts to check all their space and multiple Dreadbomb structures were found in their sov which Dragons of Yggdrasil had kept secret instead of informing the coalition about.”
“When confronted about it the response from YGG was that they had changed the timers so they could defend their structures themselves instead of relying on help from FI.RE, but Dragons of Yggdrasil only had 6 active members, whilst Dreadbomb and friends are able to field 150 guys at least, so that is either an insane play or a straight up lie.” He continued, “of course, later he claimed to have a peace treaty with AT.0 and as such his structures were not even in danger, basically the story was incoherent and didn’t add up. Basically, they were lying and when we found them out, they didn’t even have the spine to admit it.”
It’s hard not to draw the conclusion that regardless of whether or not his move to Dreadbomb was set in stone, Exterminatus’ relationship with Seddow goes deeper than he’d like to admit, and FI.RE made the right choice in destroying the structures before the timers could switch.
With the war raging on in Delve providing all the glamorous headlines, conflicts like Great Wildlands and Scalding Pass can easily be lost to time, but this could be one to watch into the winter as both sides have the ability to form formidable numbers in their own preferred timezones and both are somewhat handicapped by their involvement — or their allies’ involvement — in the PAPI coalition.
It’s too early to draw any conclusions about the conflict, but it’s safe to say that the opening points go to FI.RE and their allies.
What do you think: was Exterminatus engaged in a Trojan horse plot against FI.RE; or was this one last expensive hurrah before he and his active members left the region to find fortune elsewhere? Will the Dragons of Yggdrasil make a return, or be another alliance consigned to dust? What will happen next in the Great Wildlands/Scalding Pass conflict?