The ally system has destroyed the viability of the mercenary profession as EVE has known it since launch. The fact that Inferno's "mercenary marketplace" has cause said destruction is very ironic and not a little bit insulting. Mercs would have been better off if CCP just patched the holes in the war dec system without meddling.This of course relates to my post yesterday about the Star Fraction/Goon "foreverwar."
Either I missed it or it's been added since yesterday, but there's another change to this system that's being made to Inferno 1.1:
Added cost for hiring multiple allies for a war – hiring more than one ally now incur a cost that goes to CONCORD. The cost rises exponentially the more allies are hired into the same war.As far as I can tell, this completes the job of neutering the so-called Mercenary Marketplace. It certainly puts paid to any thought of a small alliance war-dec'ed by a larger one being able to defend itself with multiple small allies. If a big alliance war-decs you, you're left in the unenviable position of trying to talk another alliance of equal size to your aggressor into being your ally. Gathering a coalition of small alliances to match their size will no longer be viable.
Since there's now going to be a large ISK sink cost for securing allies anyway, it will make more sense to procure allies or mercenaries in the traditional pre-Mercenary Marketplace way. Just negotiate with them to declare war on those that war-dec you rather than entering into a formal alliance. Unless the alliance war-dec'ing you is of truly monstrous size, there's going to be an ISK sink whether you use the ally system or not. You also gain the flexibility to negotiate shorter or longer-term mercenary contracts rather than the arbitrary two week limit of the ally system.
In short, Aleks seems to be getting his wish. I feel kind of bad for the team that put the new ally system together. It's still somewhat useful, of course: presumably war-dec'ed corps will still use it to gain their first ally, and depending on what "exponentially" means may use it for an additional ally or two if the entity attacking them is of large enough size to make the new war-dec costs unwieldy. But beyond that? The Mercenary Marketplace is certainly no longer going to be the one-stop shop and EVE Market analogue that the developers obviously originally visualized.
Back to the forums with you, war-dec'ed corp!