Donnerstag, 30. Juli 2020

Returning after 4 years of „Winning Eve Online“


So, right after WWB (2016 edition) I went into hiatus and decided it‘s time to win Eve, having seen the „final big war“ that Eve had been waiting for since years and how much fun it was for everyone taking part in it.
Furthermore I was pretty busy with work, moved a couple hundreds of kilometers to a new job and home and my 3rd child was born, so it was a pretty good time to call it quits.

Now my oldest kid has started playing Eve and my friend who originally brought me to Eve has motivated a couple friends to give it a try as well, so I updated my old installation and noticed why I fell in love with the game originally so I decided I‘d give it a try as well once more, so here I am again and will also resume posting updates on this site, unbiased by any coalition politics but heavily biased with my own opinions.

This will give me the chance to comment about the war that just had started and I feel like having a kind of deja-vu, it‘s like 2016 never ended.
I will also show how a returning bittervet and a new player look at this game when they fly side-by-side from the start.

The Start

Returning to the game when a large war just started should provide some willing meat shield and soldier of the line with lots of options to die and explode in space, right? Well, it proved to be a little more difficult, as my corp had left the old alliance in 2017 and appears to be exceptionless inactive in the last 12 months. A quick research, ending with some talking to imperial recruiters, proved quickly that the Imperium had closed recruiting as usual when the war started. While I of course understand the reasoning, as felt every third player in the blocs is a spy of the other side anyways, I was a bit disappointed that even returning veterans of several years and campaigns wouldn‘t be accepted. It also shows that new players that are drawn into the game to see the great war they read about won‘t have any action in it.

On the other hand my friend Rischwa Amatin reacts allergic to large power blocs as well as to blue donuts anyways and would tell all of our new recruits to the game not to join any major bloc anyways, so we decided we‘d for now start out in smallscale warfare and try to introduce the new players to all kinds of fun aspects of the game. 

As there is currently nothing happening in the big war worth talking about (Fountain being slowly eaten up by Panfam, Querious not being seriously attacked by hesitating Legacy), I‘ll focus on detailing the first days of returning after such long a time.

Day 1

After a short introduction on Discord we met up with one of our new comrades in Jita to fit some ships and head out for some basic abyssal site-running. Reading up on changes in the trade-system led to my first big rant on discord about how damn stupid everyone working at CCP is and how they are still trying to get rid of every single decent old player. (Honestly, are you being paid by number of dumb & destructive nerfs there?)

Fortunately I found one of my capital alts with sufficient skills in frigs to join the fun on short notice so we‘d only spend some time reading up on changes, browsing through the items lists to find out what modules we‘d need to fit (first in pyfa, then in game) while asking ourselves the big question:
„Was there really any need to change the names of all kind of modules while keeping the modules themselves identical?“
As CCP supported us so heartily in our returning to the game by making the UIs worse, changing the names as well as some skills which had to be read up first, we decided to call it quits when the ships were fitted and ready to go and to meet up on the next evening again. GG CCP.

Sidenote: While flying through Lowsec I didn‘t encounter a single gatecamp and the only red I saw on my path to Jita was a bunch of Triglavians and a criminal at Jita undock, pretty sad...

Day 2

Having our three frigates ready for takeoff, we decide to head out for some quick deadspace experience, having a completely new player with only some days in the game at our side, we elect to start with Tier 1.
10 Minutes later we are finished and a bit bored, this was really way too easy even with my frig being fit for alpha-clone (was switched to omega already, but couldn‘t be bothered to fit a new one again) and the ship of our new buddy being fitted for a week old players skills. Probably could have run the site on my own with carrier alt as pilot and T1 weapons on a punisher. Nonetheless it was a good introduction into fleet works, coordinated movement, behaviour at gates, staying in motion to keep up transversal, no advancing on targets in a straight line etc., the basic 101s.
As we had a second entrypoint with us, after a short consultation with our young friend we decided to flash-run this one as well before calling it quits for the night as it was late already and 2 of the 3 of us had to get up at 5 respectively 6 am in the morning.

Lesson learned: Don‘t run Tier 1 even if you have new buddies and T1 ships if it‘s supposed to be entertaining (if you can say this about PvE at all).

Point of View as new player: Our Friend was busy memorizing everything told and being the first time in deadspace, fascinated by the loot consisting of filaments and a BPC and I had the impression he was thoroughly enjoying himself.


Going to hold a class 101 for the whole bunch of 4 new players including my son to introduce all of them to basic survivability and fleet behaviour in the coming days and then introduce them to some more fun aspects of the game. Lowsec roams, exploration, maybe some higher tier abyssal sites, maybe form a bomber fleet once they have the skills.

Sonntag, 17. April 2016

State of the Imperium

Ok, here we go at it again.

Quite some things have happened, the authists still haven't stopped shitposting on reddit (who would have guessed), so it's about time to write another entry about the state of the imperium.


Ok, this is the easy part. GSF is still the most powerfull alliance in the game barred PL in combination with their meatshield Horde. 17k members (low activity grade of course, as stated in earlier entries) and a huge capswarm/fight club/titan swarm make them an alliance that can kick any entity out of their space when not fighting the whole of eve. Therefore there exists no worries about the ownership of Deklein, they can retake it at will whenever they feel like it, provided there's no longer the whole NC./PL/Snuff/Tishu supercap fleet around.

The membership itself isn't very happy with the leadership in some parts, not as much because there's no fighting but more so because somewhat popular people left and the feeling of the alliance has changed. As everyone knows how Mittani lead the alliance to it's height of power and he controls as well all votes as the out-of-game infrastructure, there's no doubt as to the loyality of the memberbase.

The Allies

FCon left the Imperium and bled members heavily, joining SMA in leaving at blue standings. Razor, Exe and Init apparently are joining FCon in a deployment to Syndicate or whereever without officially leaving the CFC. 

This leaves the goons with their elite fighting forces of The Bastion, TNT and LAWN (in order of leetness of course) to fight back against the invasion.

People there are mostly sitting out or having some fun in bomber or inty fleets, occasionally taking out battleships or cruisers as highlights.

Why Stand With Goons?

The question keeps popping up on reddit. Morons keep asking how any decent player could keep fighting side by side with goons or follow The Mittani.

The reason is that all allies are closely integrated into SIGs (Special Interest Group - like EuroGoons, Miniluv, Bomberwaffe), I fly more with goons and other allied alliances than in fleets of my own alliance. I basically choose fleets with my favourite FCs where I know I'll have fun, I fly in SIGs I like to join in their activity. I know most likely as much or more goons as I do members of my own alliance. 

The CFC is not only a loose union to serve a purpose, all members are integrated into a tight network of activities and friendships.

Are some people disappointed with the failure in defending the realm? Sure, some people might be that stupid. Lots of people on Reddit shout how cowardly the CFC is handing out their sov while Test and others fought to the last man. 

Where did that put Test? They lost all their sov anyways and almost died in the process, shedding most of their memberbase, losing their coalition completely and ending sovless with 3.5k members instead of 12k members, also being broke and ridiculed by everyone.
Yeah, they clearly profited from their last-stand fight they put down.

The people who are with the CFC since some years do know that this is not the way of the CFC. We fight dirty, we fight mean, or we don't fight at all. The CFC only sends out fleets if the chances for victory are clearly in our favour. If not, we blueball the opponents. This has been the case in all of the wars of the recent past and is known by everyone.

Nobody's in a hurry over here. The CFC has been pushed back multiple times in the past, goonswarm has completely lost their sov several times already. There's little doubt that goons and allies will retake as much of the lost systems as desired once some of the big players have left the north (which will definitely happen). In the current situation a real battle can not be won, and there's no reason to throw good money after bad by burning a ton of assets in engagments that were lost before they began. 

So the focus will remain on harrassing the attackers and retake sov where the fleets have moved on. When the war is done and the dust has settled we'll see how many alliances with how many members will be part of the CFC and how much space is required and defendable. 

But What About The Grunts That Can't Rat Anymore?

Those that allegedly complain about not being able to fund their living anymore should wake up and realize that ratting in nullsec is actually one of the worst ways to fund their expenses. They might find out that incursions or L4s or even wormholes and FW make a lot more money than ratting, not to talk about Trading.

But What About Lack Of Respect

But FC, Alex said some really mean things about other alliances, how can members of those remain and not desert like the other proud alliances did?

People who talk like this apparently never were part of a fleet in the CFC. If you aren't insulted and screamed at, you can count yourself lucky (ok, you most likely didn't fuck up as many others). 

The logs pasted were talks between people behind closed doors and never supposed to be made public. Honestly, you don't want to hear what your boss most likely is talking to his management buddies about your sorry ass when you're not listening neither. 

Is it nice to hear that the big Alex doesn't give a damn about Fcon? Not really. Is it a reason to pack up all things, shed 50% of the member base and 100% of sov and head out? Not really neither. 
Of course The Mittani has to care about the whole of the coalition and his own alliance in the first place. The sentences were taken completely out of context, starting with the line where he demeaned Fcon. If the discussion was about whether to send out fleets to help FCon or support evac that was way too late because allies didn't head the warning and didn't evacuate their regions when told to do so, I'd be fully understanding to this sentiment of our dearest leader.

Last but not least respect has to be earned. It was always clear that the allies were supposed to defend their regions in their own responsibility. The coalition would come to help when a major attack was incoming that local forces could not repel by itself. This time however there was fighting on all sides of the empire. The goons tried for a while to help everywhere, but the long travels soon would burn out the pilots, therefore the decision was made to pull back to saranen and defend from lowsec as history proved that nullsec staging in blockwars is the most stupid thing you could do.

Did the allied forces heed the warning and move in time into NPC space? Only 2 of them. What about those that ignored all calls for a retreat and rather had their stagings headshotted with trillions of assets trapped? Did they earn respect? I honestly doubt it. But hey, we're the CFC, we fuck up frequently, nobody will kick you out if you screw up like NC. or PL might do. Just don't complain if you're dissed in coalition leadership channels.

Dienstag, 12. April 2016

State Of Eve

Today I'm going to highjack a very profound analysis by Croda about the financial situation, abbreviate it to some essentials for my PoV and add my own conclusions as well as ramble somewhat about the ingame situation in regards to the current northern invasion and the outlook for the game as whole.

Financial Situation

As already known to most of the players, CCP is a decently profitable company which managed to waste a ton of money with their misguided attempts at diversification. In the wake of the financial troubles of the year 2013 they had to lay off 170 of 508 employees in 2014 and another 8 employees in 2015. Their earnings however seem to have stabilized and they published a post tax profit of 20.7 million dollar after a loss of 65.6 million dollar in 2014. Sounds good.

But now let's take a look at the revenue by game subscriptions: This fell from 64 million to 53 million dollars, a loss of roughly 17%, which equates directly to the active playerbase. In 2013 it was 71 million dollar, so we see a total drop of 25.4% in active players within 2 years with accelerating decrease. Now this doesn't look good at all.

After all their attempts for diversification CCP is pretty much still a one trick pony. The whole company stands or falls with the ongoing success of a now 13 years old computer game, which has to keep up with modern triple A titles and is basically excel in space.

If the playerbase keeps waning, they can for a while keep positive earnings by cost cuttings and stopping to waste good money on the production of 2nd-rate products that were supposed to keep the company alive at the unevitable demise of their core product some day.
But in the end the receding revenues will take their toll and the available cash won't be sufficient to fund the further development of the product and Eve will go the way of all great MMORPGs. 

Current spike due to the northern invasion

At the moment we're seeing a large spike in active players in droves of resubscribing returners as well as cute newbies that want to join the big war they read of in some obscure article on some webpage or saw a cool video created in fast motion or with kickass graphics in close-up view.

Now we all know about the large spikes in activity after B-R, after "This is Eve". People want to join the current cool action, new players want to experience this game they read about or see in the movies. We all also know how long-lived this spikes have been in the past.

Everyone's enthusiastic right now that this time it will be completely different. Why?

Actually I don't see any reason for optimism. The veterans on both sides will drop out of the game again, as a bittervet won't get all milled up about a game he grew tired off just because he got to get his final revenge against an old hated enemy. If anything he'll be satisfied that he achieved his final goal in the game and got rid of those bee guys. The bee guys however will only resubscribe to evacuate their shit out of nullsec, afterwards they'll lapse into inactivity again as well, together with all those guys that got kicked out of nullsec, their dreams of an impregnable fortress shattered, quite some of them will take it as reason to quit the game finally as well.

The newbie retention rate is also known pretty well. People get attracted by cool stories, by shiny movies, and when they join the game they see that it's a spreadsheet in 3d, they get raped again and again until they finally notice that it's no honorable 1on1 until you got your falcon alt and 10 friends waiting for the cyno.


As you probably have guessed by now, I'm not foreseeing the brightest future for Eve online as well as for CCP. The numbers of active subscribers and thus operative revenue have dropped dramatically for any business analytic. I don't see any good chance for a reversal of this tendency, especially with a ton of new triple-A titles being released this spring. 

CCP got rid of a lot of veterans, of people with 10+ accounts, their most faithful and loyal playerbase, catering more towards newbies and casual gamers in the hope of making the game more attractive to new players, but I don't see the statistics reward this move. Phoebe and Aegis have been around for a long time now already, and the current spike was only brought by the invasion of the north, the event finally making happen what 70% of the Eve population had been hoping for over the last 4 years. 

Once it's over I don't see the spike going on, even worse if the CFC will re-annect the lost space within 2 weeks of the "good guys" returning home. The sloping will continue, only this time the slope is CCP's customer base again.

Sonntag, 10. April 2016

SMA leaving the CFC, state of the coalition

As everyone will have read already on Reddit, the SpaceMonkey's Alliance has announced to leave the CFC with blue standings and in good faith.

I have to admit, I'm a tad surprised. My guess would have been for them to split apart and finally disappear into obscurity, especially taken their stable and examplary leadership into consideration.

But now they chose to split from the CFC and to follow their own fortune however that may look (I have high expectations when such an elite team is considered). Where does this leave the CFC and how does it influence the outlook I wrote down three days ago?

Well, I'll have to admit, the loss of SMA is a blow to the CFC, even in the sorry state it is. Not because of their great leadership, their wellknown PvP elitists, their FCs or even their good looks. It's one alliance everyone connected to the CFC and nobody could imagine to exist outside of the coalition anymore. SMA used to have almost 4k members, even though only a bit more than 2k members are left now (no idea how many renters). They were holding Fade (Fortress Fade) and were a longtime member of the CFC which also identified pretty much with the coalition.

Honestly I have no idea how the rest will behave, Razor is deemed to be very stable and they have lost their home so often, once more should be no ragnarok for them. The Bastion is basically an extension of Goonswarm with assimilated leadership. Interesting will be how Fcon, Lawn and TNT decide to continue after this onslaught. So far the CFC still has about 32,5k members, even if half of them are spies or ratting alts and the other half is inactive.

Apparently in addition to the help of stainwagon our leadership has now managed to buy the help of XIX/Solar to try to ease the pressure on the north, though I deem this to be a little bit too late to be of any relevance now, but who knows, maybe it helps to slow down the attackers some more.

We'll see and it will stay interesting to see how things develop, maybe it's time Mittani will pull his joker and have some alliances disbanded or something.

Donnerstag, 7. April 2016

The War With A Dozen Names

The Situation

As some of you might have noticed, there's currently a minor engagement ongoing in the northern realms of what once was referred to as "the blue donut", the nullsec regions so far owned by the coalition that named itself originally the ClusterFuck Coalition (CFC), rebranded to the Imperium and is most currently referred to as "those bee guys" by the reddit community of Eve.

What was regarded as an invulnerable fortress by about all of Eve has come under attack by a loosely confederated bunch of entities that's most commonly referred to as the "MoneyBadger Coalition" (MBC), a pun which plays with the name of the former Coalition of some of the main players which was named Honeybadger Coalition (HBC) and the fact that this engagement was started by mercenary contracts, so the attackers were actually being paid to launch the attack.

The engagement itself has been named "World War Bee" by the reddit community, which has been picked up by CCP itself, while the defenders try to name it "the war of sovless agression" or something the like. Alongside of those there have been a number of other names popping up, so I'm gonna name it the war with a dozen names. Honestly, to me it's not even a real war yet, as currently there's no real reason to risk any major fleet engagements due to the disparity of power of the conflicting parties, it's just a sov-grinding contest right now.

The ongoing state of the engagement has been the almost exclusive topic of recent news entries and forum activity (especially on reddit, the origin of Test, one of the largest alliances attacking). Since several of those reports and voiced opinions have, in my humble opinion, been far off the mark, I'd like to do my own analysis of the current situation.

The Past

In the last two years the CFC has clashed repeatedly with the key actors in the attacking MBC, most prominently Pandemic Legion and Northern CoalitonDot. It's basically undisputed that the average skill level is far higher in those entities as well as for the lowsec entities or wormhole dwellers that joined the attackers and started the current invasion. In the past confrontations this would be made up by superior numbers and a perfect logistics department in the CFC.

This would usually be mocked as F1-monkeys (pressing only the F1-button for shooting the grouped weapons) fighting against skilled pilots, winning only by blobbing the opponent.

The CFC also always kept the narrative from the early days of its main alliance Goonswarm Federation to drown the enemies in droves of inexperienced young pilots, to revel in the fact that it frequently fucks up fleets, operations or whatever else could go wrong. Hence the name of the Coalition.

The opponents however frequently kept pointing out that this romantic image was misleading for quite a while, as the CFC not only built a logistics department of which many a real life business company would be envious, they also field a huge number of highly skilled pilots and the largest number of supercapital and titan pilots in any single entity in the game as well as some highly gifted and clever strategists and Fleet Commanders.

As always, the truth is in the middle. The CFC has quite an amount of good pilots and as pointed out above, some decent FCs and a terrific infrastructure. Yet the entities listed above take only the best pilots in the game, usually poaching them from other alliances (all roads lead to PL). As they only field handpicked elitist pilots, they can act faster, are highly trained and have no morons to take care off that might have made it into the fleet.
The CFC however does give every player in its ranks the chance to join any fleet he meets the requirements for. So each player which has learned the required skills on one of his chars and purchased a hull of the appropriate ship can get into a capital or supercapital group. Subcap fleets are open for everyone of course as well. This is good for the esprit de corps, makes everyone feel useful and allows everyone the chance to do what he always has dreamed of when he started with the game.
It also creates a slope regarding the personal skill of the players though. Where the elitist alliances only take veteran players that have proven in countless battles how well they perform, need to get vouches of current members to even be considered as applicant to those entities, there are doubtless players in the fleets of the CFC that perform subpar and harm the effectiveness of the entire fleet. 

The famous trail of a thousand tears, long time past, before Phoebe

However, the numerical and logistical superiority allowed the CFC to win every past conflict, causing grudges and vows of revenge in its wake, their enemies impotent to attack the only remaining powerbloc in the game. In consequence the game stagnated somewhat, causing many people to leave the game, not only of defeated enemies, but also their own players who deemed the game "won" or grew bored by lack of action.

The Current Situation

Before writing about the current engagment, I want to make clear that I'll continue to use the acronym CFC for my coalition, as I never was happy with the rebranding and it's simply far shorter to write. 
The CFC was an identity taken up by most of the members of the alliances banded together by skillfull diplomacy and clever propaganda in the past. When I started the game I was immediately impressed by the propaganda skills of Goonswarm as well as the artistic quality of their works.
The rebranding to the mostly bland and unimaginative name "the Imperium" (I love the roman empire, but hello, it's space opera here) took this away from the player base, which was basically not even asked about the decision (there was a poll which wasn't even taken for serious by the members, and its result was ignored by the leadership). The reason for the rebranding is common knowledge and doesn't need to be written about, but I'll ignore it as well.

As stated above, the CFC has been bleeding members to inactivity for a while now, also affecting senior managers and FCs. Additional to this finally some kind of fallout in the leadership of the CFC occured, causing a core corp, longtime management members and senior FCs to desert the CFC and some of them joined the current enemies.

In the beginnings of the current conflict the CFC got under attack from several sides and the member alliances were actually defending independantly at their regions. However it became quite soon apparent that the CFC was heavily outnumbered this time, as most of the remaining pvp-entities of Eve had banded together to use the most likely only chance ever to defeat them once and for all.
The CFC, so far regarded as unassailable, incorporating about 30k characters, was facing attackers with a membership of about 50k characters. Defending fleets sizing about 1k ships were facing attackers with twice their numbers. Adding into this situation the fact that the elitist organisations from nullsec as well as the known highskill entities of lowsec were also tactical superior in battle, it became pretty obvious that the risk of any further defensive battles was futile and it should be clear to any competent onlooker that it would only be a waste of ressources to have the fleets massacred without any hope of victory or even delaying the inevitable.

Thus the decision was made to evacuate several regions, stations were evacuated, towers were offlined and unanchored, stored for future use and the regions were cleared. 
The members of the affected alliances were pulled back to the current coalition staging system, some were left behind.

While the current narrative seems to be that the evac was going pretty rough, killmails getting linked and pointing out what all was left behind, the economic statistics from march, released by CCP show pretty well, how smoothly the evacuation of Vale really went:

148 Trillion isk exported from Vale of the Silent in March 2016

Did everything go perfect? Of course not, I personally was pretty disappointed with the support for the evacuation of the supercap and titan fleet and the solution for the remaining ships afterwards (we safely evacuated our titans and supercaps on our own through hostile territory, but shht, don't tell our superiors, nobody noticed cause we ain't incompetent)

Now I keep reading on blogs, reports, reddit, how desperate everyone in the CFC is, the alliances that watch their regions burn, the leadership of the CFC as they lose their precious RMT.

Are there people unhappy with the situation? Surely there are. 

Is everyone desperate in the CFC? Hell no.

Let's take a look at the real situation:

Option one: 
Burn Trillions of isk trying to defend basically not defendable and not very good systems in vale, fade and whereever. The money is lost for good, the pilots get burned out quickly and lose moral because they lose every engagement. The space and the assets are lost anyways.

Option two:
Pull back, let a couple of SCAA burn that couldn't be removed without losing ressources, lose money, but far less, harrass the attackers and try to make the new sov-system as painful for them as it can be.
Try to burn out the opponents instead of your own members.

Of course there are people quite unhappy with the situation, everyone can see this in the statistics, members are dropping from the CFC, even one large alliance switched allegiance due to complaints about lack of support by the coalition. People can't do their beloved 5-carrier-ratting anymore to pay their subscriptions. The retreat costs the alliance a ton of money, which is never a nice situation.
It might even come to the disbanding of major alliances of the CFC, a severe drop of membership is to be expected.

But people like Killah Bee know the truth, in his quite decent interview he was really cautious, trying to reign in the expectations, after all this conflict has just begun.

The Outlook

Now we're talking business: How will this confrontation develop?

My mystic chrystal ball has been in a quite good condition lately, but honestly, I wouldn't place my personal fortune on any predictions.

However, I disagree with almost all predictions and celebrations on reddit and Ripard Teg as well.

I see several possible outcomes of the current invasion and none of them is what is currently favoured by the majority of posters:

1. MBC stays stable, numbers stay up, CFC keeps failing

Even though the CFC falls back to a harassing tactic of denying fun, making opponents work hard for their progress, often proven successfull in the past, the autists of Test are not that easily put off and keep up the grind, the CFC continues to lose ground quickly, numbers of fleets in the MBC stay high, can field 5k players for a major battle.

Most likely in this case there won't even be a battle for Deklein. The CFC stays at its staging in Saranen and waits until everyone goes home to reconquer the whole lost ground in a short period of time once everyone has left (ADMs will all be nonexistant, grinding will be a hell easier than for attackers now). The coalition will bleed members for sure, but will claim it's all carebears and lowlifes, true allies and members prove their value in times of need, it's called trimming the fat, but the coalition itself will remain, most of the allies don't have anywhere else to go, unless GSF disbands the coalition, they all use their infrastructure, the FCs are there...

People tend to forget just how much cash the CFC has lying around and just how many supercapitals and titans. Even if a defense against the current onslaught is just not viable, nothing prevents them from capturing back what was lost within days after just a few Coalition members going home.

No property is currently being lost by the CFC aside from some Infrastructure items for moderate amounts of money and some supercaps that are aborted. PL is claiming egalization of B-R already now, before entering Deklein (disregarding the fact that even 70 assembly arrays aren't equal to 70 titans, else the CFC would be drowning in titans). Nonetheless it's just a months output of supercapitals being lost, if all of them were active, so it should be rather easy to count up how many supercapitals have been built in the past 3 years alone.

Probability: pretty high

2. Same as above, CFC doesn't retake sov

Same premise as above, but the leadership of the CFC decides it's time to step up the game as PL, NC. and basically every other high end entity of the game did and say a hearty "fuck you" to Greyscale, Fozzie and Seagull and stage from lowsec in future, concentrating on money moons and a nomadic live style. 

The game would lose it's stationary bad guy, instead the whole coaltion might go Reavers style.  

Probability: low, too many carebears and monetisation requries a flag on the map

3. CFC tactics showing some success, MBC members can be bought off

The sov-vulnerability has been switched to AUTZ, no more double vulnerability timers after completion of the process. Less people to grind the timers and harassment by CFC pilots slow the invasion significantly down, First entities that just joined for the fun and have no personal conflict with the CFC might pack up and go home, some might be bought off for significant amount of iskies.

The Invasion might linger at a standoff for a while, until more attackers quit or numbers in fleets go down. Then the CFC can crush the invasion and punish the defectors. The game would be over by then, no more reason to play for many people, veterans go back to hibernation (like myself).

Probability: rather low, doubt that the MBC falls apart fast enough, the morale seems to be pretty low with defenders too

4. Mittani calls it quits and disbands the Coalition, or too many high profile organizer leave

Only situation where I could imagine the coalition breaking apart completely after losing a war. Goons take sov elsewhere or retake just Deklein or take up a nomadic lifestyle for themselves, the remaining alliances basically falling apart. 

Eve Players like Ripard Teg would celebrate, until the next superpower rises up and seizes large amounts of space and make themselves unassailable. In the meanwhile they would notice that people who didn't try to take space in the Drone Region Federation rental empire or Stainwagon or in the West, won't get to hold space for an extended period of time in the north as well.

Probability: really low, all the efforts of forming a cross-gaming-community would be void, monetisation wouldn't be possible anymore, TMC Media would run into problems.

5. Mexican standoff: MBC bleeds enough members to make fighting viable for the CFC, no side wins

Same as 3., but without victory for the CFC, rather standoff or a bloody victory for the MBC.
The CFC would suffer hefty losses and bleed financial reserves, which would weaken them for a longer period of time in the future, attackers don't have any sov to defend and aren't affected in regards of their income, so they won't suffer in the same dimensions.

Probability: rather low, doubt the CFC will fight losing battles, if a longer standoff should happen, most likely other entities will run out of motivation/money first.

Personal War Experience

Ever since joining the CFC I have been absolutely impressed with the level of professionalism of the organization (as business consultant I have met bigger RL companies that were a LOT worse) and the inclusion of even the weakest and dumbest player into fleets, the helpfullness of members and the quality of the wiki and the doctrines. I have felt at home there, even when bored by having won the game we never thought about leaving, our corp rather went more and more inactive. If nothing else was possible, you could always go out with SIGs or take a bomber fleet with boat. Chances are good you're going to die in a horrible ball of fire, but you'll do so laughing and having fun.

My corp now had a record in players online for 3 years, we multiplied our recent peak logged in members by a factor of 5. Does that bode well for the game? My honest opinion: No

The reason for this is the current state of the game. People logged in, moved their caps like 3 jumps, swore a lenghty sermon of words I can't write down in good conscience and swore to not log in again for the next couple of years. 

While playing shooters or other games, people talk in voice comms and joke about pings for sword fleets or bombers only. A corp full of highly experienced and skilled bittervets wants to do other things than harass people with inties or bombers. We did this with Provibloc, we did it in fountain and halloween wars, but meanwhile we had won the game already, some people didn't fly anything but supercaps or titans for years, and surely as hell people don't want to entosis in frigates or cruisers instead of playing with the shinies. 

People might celebrate now, this might be seen as the requested result of fozziesov, but any game mechanics that makes the game unattractive for a part of the playerbase because one botched the game balance in earlier days can only be seen as a major failure in my eyes. Making supercapitals and titans, the most iconic and by far most expensive ships in the game, completely superfluous, barring any use at all within the current system, requiring people to fly beginner ships to guard their systems in space, can only be seen as a complete fuckup.

Maybe the experience of Fozziesov is something new and fascinating for Test or the horde, but for a large part of the returning players in our realm the game took a definite turn to the worse. In fact. I wouldn't even be sad if we lost all our sov for good, I can earn more money by trading, FW or incursions as a member of the line anyways, didn't rat for 3 years now, not to mention the by far most efficient way to make isk, that is selling PLEX. Maybe it's really time to take up the gameplay all other big players already did or do the only better thing, finally win eve and make place for the newbies that can enjoy entosing nodes for 5 hours a piece to win a timer for a single ihub. I only doubt that Eve as a really old game with incredible learning curve and a horrid new player retention is still attracting enough new blood to compensate the losses by leaving bittervets and supercap pilots.

I would rather guess the large spike we currently are seeing will drop below the numbers experienced before this winter when the war is over, the content provided gone for good and even more people leave the game due to burn out from the efforts of the war. Maybe some of the people might be retained by the citadel expansion, but I wouldn't bet on it, there are a ton of triple A titles being released this spring and early summer which will take their toll on the playerbase.

Before deciding about hibernation or winning eve for good, first I will make sure to make the invaders grind until they bleed out of their ears though, cause that's what we do in the CFC, we have done it in the past, suffering ourselves while having fun in chat and break the will of the invaders or at least do our best to try it.

Yet Another EVE Blog


I am .., well, who I am doesn't really matter at all. Let's call me simply the backseat FC.

I once swore to myself that I'd never do something as foolish as to write yet another superfluous blog. Yet here I am, currently writing my first rambling entry to the umpteenth Eve Online blog which probably will end with zero to five readers, wondering how I got into this situation and why I don't let myself be paid for writing this stuff by one of the big Eve news sites.

The final straw leading to the (likely fatal) decision to start this blog was the two piece guest article by Ripard Teg at Crossing Zebras which woke my desire to respond to his statements and find a place to voice my own opinions and draw my own (of course superior) conclusions about current happenings in regard to the meta game.

The Author

Playing Eve Online only since 2012, I am a senior gamer with scarce spare time at hand and thus content to serve as a member of the line in my corp. 
When writing senior I mean that I was one of the pioneers at PC-gaming while friends had ataris, c64 and later amigas. I was among the first to play games over the Internet like my favourite MUD NannyMUD, an avid fan of the early FPS (W3D, DOOM, DN3D etc.) and hardcore quake gamer.

When one of PLs high profile FCs in this conflict, Killah Bee was born, I had already earned my first bachelor degree. 

During my time at university I built a successful multi-gaming team whose players partially went on to become pro gamers, was active in the leadership of several MMORPG-power guilds and generally very busy and vocal in the competitive gaming scene. 

This changed as usual after leaving university, starting to work full time and marrying. I worked for one of the biggest auditing firms worldwide, started my own law and tax firm later until I sold it and started my current job as treasurer and deputy mayor of a municipality. Being married the 2nd time with two (soon three) kids I split what little time is left for gaming between my beloved shooters, Eve and the occasional new game. 

As every backseat FC in each and every fleet going out, of course I'm 100% positive that I know better what's going on and how to solve problems than those who spend terrific amounts of time and effort on the matter. 

My Eve Career 

After long years of refusing every attempt to lure me into this hellhole, a long time gaming friend of mine managed to persuade me after months of persistence to try the free trial month at least. 

Within the first three days I decided that high sec wasn't for me and left for low sec, only to return a bit later to learn some basic small scale pvp in RvB. Shortly thereafter I got the itch again and left, now already two months into the game, for null sec, where I have stayed hence. 

In all my career I have only been member of a single player Corp, which I still am part of. 
I enjoyed a wonderful time with this Corp in providence, fighting Russians, Thorn/Test and PL, until we moved north and joined the CFC.
By now I have used most ship classes in the game below titans (which I don't have any desire to pilot) and am what most would call a bittervet.

The Blog

Now, why the blog?  Why not write on EN24 or TMC, have a far larger readership and even get paid a truckload of ingame currency to fuel my own private RMT empire like all those other guys with poor writing skills? 

Why do my own blog in a foreign language which our educational system did a pretty poor job of teaching me and which I largely taught myself by reading books, watching movies and talking to American, British and Scandinavian gaming pals? At the larger sites I'd be corrected by an editor and my ramblings would be brought into coherence. 

Well, the truth is, I want to present my, obviously superior views of the state of the game, unchecked by ideological direction of the platform. Both of the larger sites are basically propaganda machines where content is reportedly heavily moderated.

I know that no side in the current conflict,  which is only the escalation of the last years' events, is right or wrong.  Both have their strengths and weaknesses. I want to report essentially neutral with as low bias as possible when personally involved. 

As every  jurist I'm absolutely convinced that I have a substantiated knowledge of everything and am better suited to judge any facts than anyone else. 

This makes me the perfect backseat FC and of course qualifies me for blogging my personal opinions to help people to get enlightened.

If anyone actually read through all this and against all odds wasn't  bored to death by now, I will start with actual content in my immediately upcoming second entry.