The discussion in my post the other day about the upcoming war-dec changes has been quite interesting! Needless to say, I'm being called all sorts of names. But I wouldn't be me if that wasn't happening, so I'm OK with it. Matter of fact, I have to admit that I threw a few lines and phrases into the blog with the intent of stirring the pot a little. One doesn't refer to Jade Constantine as a "folk hero" unless one wishes to tweak The Mittani's nose. ;-)
That said, I got accused by Goons all the way up to Mittens himself of lying when I said Goons had been whining about the Jade Constantine mutual "foreverwar". That was a ridiculous enough accusation that I just contented myself to point right back at the very threads Jade had started on the EVE-O forums and on FHC as evidence.
At that point, the Goon narrative changed to "OK, well, we weren't whining. We were pointing out that Jade was exploiting a badly-designed game mechanic." I guess I hardly need to explain why Goons of all people complaining about someone exploiting badly-designed game mechanics is a weaponized level of irony that could flatten whole cities. Then Goons adjusted their tack slightly to "Jade was exploiting a badly-designed game mechanic, and we were looking forward to it!" And that's where the narrative seems to be right now.
Now keep in mind, what Jade did was new in only one way: he made The Star Fraction's war with the Goons mutual. In that way, he invoked the badly thought-out mutual war and surrender mechanics on the aggressor side of the equation. I certainly recognize that there were dozens of corps getting themselves involved in dozens of war-decs that they previously weren't involved in. But to my knowledge, Jade chaining himself to the Goon war-dec was the new tactic here and that's what I wrote about. That, in fact, was why I called the post "Total war": it invoked the 20th century change in warfare around refocusing your entire economy toward belligerence.
"Dog-piling" (as it's started to be called) into a non-mutual war still leaves the aggressor in the driver's seat: they can end the war any time they like without surrendering, or any time the number of allies on the defender's side becomes too much. All the aggressor has to do is stop paying the bill, and the war ends on their terms. However, a mutual war-dec takes the aggressor out of the driver's seat. In a curious way, it puts the defender in the position of power in the war. The aggressor can no longer end the war whenever they like. I like that... but the in-game mechanics still need a lot of work.
Anyway, the drama is still sweeping back and forth from the EVE-O forums to Failheap to the blogs and back. I thought it would be interesting to focus on the takes of four other bloggers that have written about this lately.
I'm not sure how to describe the "sides" on this debate, so I'll just say on one "side" of this is an almost rabid post by Poetic Stanziel. Poetic, for reference, is not war-dec'ed by the Goons at this time. Poetic starts by using a rather Goon-like expression to indicate that anyone who believes that the changes CCP is making are a response to the Goon/Jade situation is dumb. That, I do in fact agree with.(1) The rest of the post is an interesting contradiction, though. It first argues that anyone who draws a war-dec on themselves deserves the consequences of that, essentially arguing that unfairness is a building block of EVE.(2)
But then the post seems to argue that the ally system should be fair to professional EVE merc corps as well. For them, I have to honestly say that I don't have a lot of pity. As I've said on this blog before, if someone competes with you, beat them by being better... not by complaining you're being competed with. Too many corps jumping into as defenders in war-decs? Get hired by proving to be better than they are and by proving you have a track record of success during war-decs. This ain't the first time CCP has thrown a giant monkey wrench into this or that corp's means of making ISK. Hell, it isn't even the first time they've done it this year.
On the other "side" of the fence is an almost equally rabid post by Mord Fiddle over at Fiddler's Edge. For reference, Mord is not war-dec'ed by the Goons at this time. Mord's take lately is that Mittens is still smarting over being removed from the CSM and is lashing out at anyone that he perceives as a personal enemy. I find it hard to argue with that, either. But Mord does slip too far over into the conspiracy side of things. Still this post and a post he wrote a few days ago about Mittens himself are well worth your time.
In the middle is this well-written post by Mabrick of Mabrick's Mumblings.(3) For reference, Mabrick is war-dec'ed by the Goons at this time. Mabrick does a really terrific job -- probably better than the job that I did -- of laying down the major benefit to the ally system. It makes declaring war on someone an inherently risky act with consequences. One of the perceived down-sides of the war-dec system that I referenced above is the perception that the aggressor has all of the power in the relationship. In-war allies were intended to put at least some power in the hands of the defender.
Happily, the numbers for bringing in war allies are now out. I was a little bit concerned to learn that bringing in additional allies will increase the cost on an exponential scale. Being an aggressor multiple times only increases cost on a geometric scale, after all. But the first ally is still free and the second, third, and fourth only cost 10, 20, and 40 million, respectively. These are quite reasonable costs -- they could even be increased a bit in my view -- so I'm feeling better about the changes myself. And Mabrick makes a good argument in his post for supporting the changes as well.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the take of Yuki 0nna at The White Rose Conventicle. For reference, White Rose was war-dec'ed by the Goons. I say "was" because Yuki 0nna has shut down WRC and has left EVE entirely. So now nobody gets to read Yuki's take on it. But I think Yuki's take on it is clear enough despite that. Now granted, I wasn't Yuki's biggest fan... but WRC didn't deserve that.
Let's hope that nobody involved kills themselves, shall we?
EDIT (15/Jun/2012): The original version of this piece reported that Mord Fiddle's corp had been war-dec'ed by Goonswarm. This was incorrect, and I regret the error.
(1) For the record, the Rolodex jab I made in my own post was, again, intended to tweak the collective Goon nose a little.
(2) I'll have more to say about this on Monday.
(3) It finally convinced me to pull the trigger and add him to my Must Read Blogs list. You'll find him over there on the right.