A number of people have contacted me on EVE mail, through my account on Failheap, and on this blog's comments, asking me to weigh in on the situation going on in EVE's southeast corner, around the Stain region. What do I think will happen there?
I'm not an expert on southeast New Eden. It's the only area in the game that I haven't lived in or visited, so I don't really feel qualified to say in terms of specifics. When I hinted a month or so back that I guessed I was going to have to start looking for a corp, I got a bunch of people living in that area that invited me to come down for the war. And all I can say to you guys is: you don't want me. ;-) I'm really bad luck when it comes to DRF invasions. I've been on the receiving end of them three different times. It's really funny how people playing EVE forget how often the DRF launches these invasions.
The thought of signing on for a fourth DRF invasion wasn't tempting in the slightest, despite the very kind offers.
So no, I can't really speak to specifics.
Generalities, though? Those I can speak to. "How are we supposed to deal with all of these super-caps?" I've been asked. Answer: you can't. The only proven counter to a super-cap fleet is a bigger super-cap fleet. As I've mentioned, the Goons are throwing together the idea of a massive suicide Hurricane fleet to kill supers, and while the idea is sound, it hasn't been proven in the field. Nor is it likely to be in the near future. Those alliances with enough super-caps to be a legitimate test of the idea surely have the Goons infiltrated enough to determine if a Welpfleet is being gathered for that purpose.
EVE News 24 has a commentary article on the situation up today indicating that AAA is calling out the militia, including Nulli Secunda, AtlasDOT and Cascade Imminent. I actually do have some specific experience with a number of corps in these alliances. And I can say that while they are generally really, really good guys... they've got no staying power. Nulli's a good example, having been formed out of the corps that -- after the fall of Gentlemen's Club -- decided that the next step in their EVE evolution should be to become... IT Alliance renters. Again, these are good guys, fun to hang out with, and to their credit, when IT fell they proved they could hold their space against the locals. But determined front-line sov warriors capable of standing up to the Russians, they're decidedly not.
Which is pretty ironic when you consider these very same guys were in front-row seats cheering the Russians on as they steam-rolled the NC. Now that the shoe's on the other foot, I don't hear a lot of cheering.
Here's a kill-mail that pretty much describes how this fight is gonna go. From utter fail Guardian fit, to the Doomsday that killed it, to the rail-fit Abaddon, to the Nyx that apparently provided tackle... this war is going to have all the subtlety, finesse, and grand strategy of a slap-fight involving 12-year-olds.
Only, the batch of 12-year-olds coming from the north all have automatic weapons.
And that's assuming that the Russians don't hire Pandemic Legion. Presumably, if AAA or their militia look to provide any notable resistance at all, that'll be the next step.
So yeah, I don't know anything about the specifics of the war coming for the southeast. But in general, I'd say AAA and friends are doomed. They were doomed the moment the NC fell. I highly recommend reading the comments thread on the EN24 piece. A lot of the readers of that article get it. For now, there's nothing to stop the DRF from taking any part of New Eden they want. That includes the southeast.
As Kosh from Babylon 5 put it admirably, "The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."
EDIT (22/Aug/2011): I was still in the process of writing this blog post when a portion of it was rendered out of date. Certainly does nothing to invalidate my conclusion.