Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's the end of the world as we know it...

Welcome to EVE Online. In this universe, they players make the stories happen.

Sometimes, I love to make end of the world predictions. Perhaps I'm somehow related to Nostradamus, or Edgar Cayce. Regardless, today we will discuss the end of the world, in relation to EVE Online. Let's start with the firestarter, one of the most famous and polarizing figures currently in EVE Online, The Mittani.

CSM Chairman, Top Goon
Mittens, as many call him, utilized his formidable political skills to get elected Chairman of the CSM, and has, since his election, utilized those skills in an effort to steer CCP towards focusing on EVE Online, the spaceship game. In recent weeks, it seemed as if his skills were bearing fruit, as various tweets and forum posts and comments hinted towards an announcement or information from CCP that flying in space (what most people call EVE Online) would be the primary focus of development for the foreseeable future. Many rejoiced, including myself, that the Top Goon had leveraged his skills successfully.

This week, the other shoe dropped.

I fear that for all the placating comments, and pandering to the EVE community, The Mittani is lying to EVE, and this camel's nose is based on the current CFC/Goon propaganda machine. Looking at it from both inside and outside the CFC, there are some amazing things that are about to happen - some mildly interesting, others potentially terrifying. But enough dancing around the campfire. Goonswarm, and their allies, have announced a new campaign to "freeport Delve". At this level, there is a little to worry about - turning a sovereign 0.0 region into a free-for all with open access to all stations seems a bit odd, since regions like Syndicate, Curse, and Outer Ring (NPC Nullsec) already exist, but it isn't the strangest campaign Goonswarm has ever undertaken. This campaign, however, comes alongside what could be the biggest troll in EVE (ever) or the biggest concern in EVE (ever).

thanks to Riptard Teg of Jester's Trek
Let's start with the theoretical NIP between the CFC and the DRF. For those of you who don't particularly care about nullsec, these are the two largest coalitions in all of EVE. The DRF (Russian alliances based primarily out the drone regions and what I will call the northeast corner of New Eden) and the CFC (Goonswarm, Test Alliance Please Ignore, and others) already control, between the two coalitions, over 70% of nullsec, at least in name. There's a great poster here that shows the combined regional control and military might of these two powerhouses. Recently, discussions cropped up in various EVE-related forums about these two groups creating a non-invasion pact, and basically splitting up all of sovereign nullsec between them. An unlikely event, most people would think, and very controversial, at best.

Controversy, however, is what many members of Goonswarm thrive upon. So over the last week or so, TEST and Goonswarm forum posters and tweeters (including The Mittani himself) have been fueling the fire of speculation that this could come to pass, even going so far as to make plans for their entertainment following the completion of the DCF conquest. These plans are the only real concern, were this entire activity come to fruition.

As a parent, I am painfully aware of the potency of a full-blown temper tantrum. My girls (who already have me wrapped around their little fingers) can change a whole plan with a well-timed (and well-executed) tantrum. My fear is that The Mittani, thoroughly frustrated by the doublespeak and lack of action by CCP to "save" the spaceship game EVE Online, has escalated his frustration into a tantrum, at the root of which is the DCF concept. After all, if CCP won't work on the game he wants to play, why should he, as the "King of Space" let anyone else play the game they do make.

I can hear most of you about now saying "what the hell are you talking about?" So here's the tl:dr.

If the DCF were to take over 95% of nullsec (or all of it, which is the plan, supposedly), the discussion by goons on many forums is to then turn their sights on Empire, and grief the players who blindly continue to pay and play the game that isn't the EVE Online they want it to be. The goal, by wardeccing empire corps, and running regular operations into empire space to attack those players, is to drive players out of EVE - to make the game so frustrating that the poor "carebears" would stop logging in.

The conclusion, in this perhaps crazy plan, is to bring about the end of EVE. The funny (sad?) thing about this is, it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, whether true or troll. After all, Goons have always played their game - which often translated into ruining your game. This is the same alliance that, when bored a few years ago, wardecced corps to take down their towers, in a jihad against moon-pillaging evildoers.
After a while though people will start leaving the game. Not the bittervet assholes like us who post on or fhc either... the people who love the game despite its flaws and still play, and who played all through the bad expansions. The people who kept a positive attitude during the rough times because they had faith in the devs and fellow players as well that the game would get better. Maybe for them it never got bad at all. These people start leaving in droves because they can't play the game anymore. Griefed out by the fucking Mittani. Melvin the Mission runner and Kevin the Carebear. You never gave a shit about them before -- they were just ships passing by. Little people playing the game in a small way and enjoying it. When those people leave because of this it won't be CCP they blame. It won't be the expansions or monocles or engine trails or MT. They will look to you as the reason. And that is how Eve Online will finally die. It won't be because of CCP's unfortunate design choices - it will be because the biggest power bloc in the game got bored and decided to break it for everyone.
and the response from a prolific Goonswarm Poster, "endie":
This all sounds fucking brilliant.

So there it is, the end of the world. Let's hope that Rixx Javix was serious about playing EVE until the lights go out. Maybe he and The Mittani can do a frigate duel, in the spirit of Nash's Celebrity Deathmatches, for the last fight in EVE Online.

One can only wonder if, by actually iterating on FiS, and improving the actual spaceship game EVE Online, that CCP can stop Goonswarm, the DRF, and their allies, from bringing about the ultimate headshot, and bringing to an end, EVE Online. I will be watching, from inside and out, as the future unfolds.

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