Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Monday, July 9, 2012

The ego has landed

So, let's talk about Delve War V a bit.

First, I have to say that I'm really impressed with this introductory write-up by Elise Randolph.  Elise usually goes with a lot of purple prose and an overblown writing style.  This time, he keeps things simple, descriptive, and eloquent.  It's some of the best writing about EVE that I've seen all year.  So even if you're not at all interested in sov politics, go out and give it a read.  It's worth your time, and the piece will give you a great background about what all the fuss is about.

Speaking as two-time sov resident and current sov outsider, there doesn't seem to be any reason any longer to keep major assets in stations that can be captured.  One of the blows that the "Southern Coalition" has taken in this war is the spy-caused sov flip of one of their major holding systems.  When this happens, the players involved lose docking rights and with it, the ability to extract major assets stored in that station in any numbers.

When pressed, -A- has a history of falling back to NPC 0.0 and usually stages their major assets out of NPC space anyway.  And it's increasingly a smart move.  More and more, control of capturable stations is lost not through incompetence on the battle-field, but incompetence within the leadership structure of alliances months before the battle starts.  You would think after the last few years that alliances would be better about keeping spies and saboteurs out at the highest level, but the fact is that most alliance leaderships don't seem to care about such things.  If you say you're willing to do the boring scut-work associated with sov alliance logistics, it's easy to be promoted into such a position.

And when the time comes, like the Lannisters throwing open the gates of King's Landing for Robert's Rebellion, you lose your station without any hope of defending it or even firing a shot.  Actually attacking a station is for the unimportant ones, and is done less for reasons of capturing territory and more in the hopes that someone -- anyone -- will show up with a capital ship fleet to defend it.

Between this and eventual destructible outposts, expect the outcry from big alliances to escalate for the ability to grief low-sec and null-sec NPC stations and the small alliance residents thereof.

The other interesting item about this war is this recording of the "State of the Goon" from 30 June.  The Mittani makes a short (about seven minutes) speech about the invasion and the reasons for it.  It's interesting listening.  But if you have the time, the "State of The Goonion Q&A - June 30th 2012" toward the lower right is even more interesting.  That one is Mittens answering questions from CFC members for about 30 minutes and in the process riffing on several interesting subjects.

Let's start with the first one first.  It's amusing to me how absolutely nobody seems to care about the war in Delve.

Mittens certainly doesn't.  The reasons he gives for the invasion are vague and half-hearted at best.  In particular, he specifies that Delve is turning into a launching point for wars against GSF (or perhaps he means the larger CFC), which I found kind of amusing.  "We have to fight them in Catch so we don't have to fight them in Deklein," is the argument, which true or not is so reminiscent of the most recent former U.S. President that it really made me smile.

Why Catch?  I can only speculate, but I'd guess it has something to do with the 19 light-year jump that takes place between 49-U6U in Querious and 4-07MU in Catch in the far southwest corner of space, and the other long jumps parallel to it.  Similarly long jumps exist in the opposite corner of New Eden, and the DRF was very intent on holding the linking systems there.  The reason?  If you hold both sides of this long jump, it's much tougher for an enemy to stage super-capital ships against you.

Overall though, the swiftness of Delve's fall (virtually all of it has now fallen) shows how little those who live there care about it.  The region and Delve War V in general literally mean almost nothing.

It'd be nice if there was a war that was worth something, wouldn't it?

One of the forgotten details of Delve War II is that when that war was launched, the Goons gave up extensive holdings across the southeast part of New Eden.  They moved their entire alliance into NPC Delve and launched their campaign from there, to win or die.  Much like Cortez burning his ships to motivate his men, the leadership of the Goons gave their troops no options... no place to fall back to.  It does kind of make me wonder.  What would happen if -A- did the same thing?  What if they struck their colors entirely in Catch and points east, left their former homes abandoned, moved their entire alliance to NPC Pure Blind, and then struck hard with their entire strength directly west?

It would certainly at least make the war worth something, and would make it mean something, don't you think?

Just something fun to think about.  It won't happen.

Amusingly, Mittens also raises the spectre of rooting out this or that FC or corp that was in Band of Brothers once as one of the justifications for the war.  This is a reason that Mittens has trotted out as justification for the last three Goon invasions at least.  Maybe it was on the teleprompter and someone forgot to delete it.  For the record, there's alliances in the CFC that were in BoB's sphere of influence, and corps and personnel in the CFC that were in BoB or IT Alliance.  Needless to say, the spectre of BoB in 2012 rings hollow.

That said, it was kind of fun to listen to the end of the Q&A.  The last question Mittens fields is "How do you respond to people who say that Goons are becoming more like Band of Brothers?"  This is a comparison that I've made myself once or twice, very teasingly.  So it was interesting to hear how Mittens would respond to it.

In response, Mittens entirely relies on how Band of Brothers operated internally.  Mittens, we don't compare Goons to BoB because of how you treat your friends.  Most of us neither know nor care about how BoB treated their friends.  We compare you to BoB because of how you treat your enemies, and how you treat neutrals.  That, we care about a great deal.

And in that respect, comparing Goons to BoB is rather more fair.

Anyway, that's it from me on Delve War V unless something really extraordinary happens.  Given how fast Delve itself has fallen, I consider that massively unlikely.  Expect to see the CFC roll into the Catch border regions and take the important linking systems that are within capital ship jump range of Querious.  After that, the train should roll to a halt as "diplomacy" takes hold and all of us will be living in a New Eden split between two opposing super-massive blobs.

Which I'll again remind you is pretty much the exact opposite of what CCP has been saying is what they want in 0.0 for about the last three years now.  How's that working out for you, CCP?


  1. I completely agree with how you view this war. On one hand, goons think SoCo has gone home crying seeing as we've lost Sov. In exchange, SoCo has fights whenever they want, almost anywhere. I've had more fun in the SoCo than I've had in weeks, and morale is very high. This is simply, as you pointed out, because Sov has very little actual value.

    I would think this war would be very interesting if it actually had objectives on both sides rather than the current 'we want to destroy you' stupidity. The SoCo will survive this war, and I'm quite sure Mittens is aware of that. As you've pointed out, destroying the SoCo is not his main objective. If, for example, the CFC moons were threatened, and the entire SoCo was in force to try and attack them on both sides... But hey, one can dream?

    I think CCP is going to have to try and figure out how to make Sov worthwhile for alliances. Right now it's just a huge money sink, with perhaps a little isk from renters. We all know tech is where money comes from, and PL is a very good example of how tech-holding alliances have no need for Sov. Making outposts destructible will only make things go further into the other direction, I see very few alliances wanting to live out of NPC space. How they would go about this though is anyone's guess, perhaps give more defensible options for systems (I still find the fact that outposts can be staging systems for huge alliances yet have no defensive emplacements rather funny).

    1. Then what about the almost daily posts of fleet comms showing how butthurt you fuckers are?

    2. You mean the one time we were disappointed we couldn't match numbers and had to stand down? Yeah, sad that we couldn't go and shoot stuff. Somehow we manage to survive though... And destroy a few fleets later in the process. As I said, you really don't understand what current morale is like.

  2. There seems, from the outside, to be a design flaw with sov in this game. Wars should be driven by necessity. Battles should happen because people are desperate for resources.

    Instead wars seem a ploy by super-rich alliances to keep their members from playing League of Legends.

    There's just too much money in the game. There's no need, everything is superfluous luxury. With hindsight it would have been nice if level 4s and incursions had been limited to null, if high sec PI was only for manufacturing not extraction and if the only asteroid type in high sec was Veldspar.

    It also seems that diplos/spymasters/bureaucrats dominating null does not make for interesting conflict.

    1. Imagin for a moment you get your wish. Lets pretend that there are no more high-sec activitys for anyone with more than 5mil SP. Lets pretend for a moment that this actualy accomplishes what you seem to want it to and drives everyone in highsec to low and nulsec. We can even pretend that they enjoy it and log on every day like they do presently.

      ...How would this change anything? At all. Other than perhaps making blobs bigger, fights laggier and nodes crashier...

      How would more people make Sov war work? Did you even think that through?

    2. It amazes me every time I read stuff like this. Yes there is too much isk in the game... for some entities. The reaction though from people like you is to demand it get taken away from those that have the least. I got news for you, level 4 missions are not funding 0.0. See if you can figure out what is.

    3. seeing as how veldspar, per m3, is increasingly on par with null sec roids...ohhhh for the past 5 years...how's the working out for you in null?

      I think there's probably more high end minerals being 'manufactured' through scrapmetal processing than mining. fairly sure someone did a blog about that too.

  3. Serpentine LogicJuly 9, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    So, destructable outposts: solution to the 'we'll just retake the region', or just another reason to base out of NPC null?

  4. Jester, i've been a dedicated reader of your blog for at least a year and a half, but I must say something.

    Please keep your posts unbiased. Your anti-Goons and anti-Mittani stance is getting a little annoying, as of late. I am not a Goon, but i was in TEST for a bit last year. Take from that what you will, but I really really enjoy your blog when you keep things equal and on the same level for everyone.

    This post in particular, re-read it and try to read it from the perspective of someone who tries to read anti-Goons and anti-Mittani stuff, they would be served, wouldnt they ?

    It all seems like you take your position in nullsec seriously, and this takes away from your blog, in my opinion. I really enjoy all of your posts, but please stay neutral. Whatever you think of Goons/Mittens, because you're with/against them, should not interfere with news reporting. Then again, this is not EveNews24, and it IS your personal blog, so I may have written all this for nothing. Oh well :)

    1. ...you've been a dedicated reader of a blog for at least a year... but you don't know how often I'm accused of being a Mittani/Goon fan-boy?

      I'm accused of being a Mittens fan-boy about as much as I'm accused of being a Mittens hater, so I think I'm striking about the right balance, honestly.

    2. "I'm accused of being a Mittens fan-boy about as much as I'm accused of being a Mittens hater"

      Although that's true looking up the last 12 months or so, it's been more of a goon hater ever since White Rose Conventicle closed its doors to the point I'm starting to wonder is that's a factor in it, unconsciously perhaps.

      Oh, and since we are talking about your blogging tendencies, I notice Garth isn't receiving as much space as he used to (only one post in the last two months). Perhaps that's the reason he seems to take hold of a paragraph or two every once in a while.

    3. i think Jester is a secret Mittani fanboi masquerading as a hater. I mean, all the NASTY NASTY things Jester says about the goons is just hyperbole.

      just take the deplorable way he treated the honest and forthright way goons showed ccp an exploit about Faction Warfare and played up the Goons propaganda that it was all about them funding the war effort...it made it seem like the Minmatar militia were being played for fools. silly peons thinking they were actually affecting the landscape.
      Then @GamerChick42 posts yesterday about "Not Your Average Weekend" seemingly showing the truly epic efforts the Minmatar militia actually have been making an impact - putting the lie to Jester's cynical focus on Goon's propaganda.

      oh wait. Sorry, did i just troll?

    4. Fair enough. I just think your posts would be different if you were in CFC and I'd like to pretend this isn't the case, and you're unbiased. You make it difficult sometimes. But I digress. Love your blog, I've yet to read something that portrays you as a Mittani fanboy but maybe I'm such a fanboy myself I didn't see it.

  5. The most important reason for CFC to join the war is something Mittens won't admit: sheer boredom.

    -A- will do what it always does, loose almost all it's space then slowly grind it back once its current enemies get busy with something else.

    1. And here we have a perfect example of yet another one that doesn't understand how the CFC works.
      What will most likely happen is, test is gonna keep the sov in a few selected systems for JB access. Same with goons.
      And the rest of the systems/regions will be transfered over to 99%/aurora shadow/other smaller entities, possibly even XiX. And if -a- ever decides to try and take the region back.
      the CFC will just go back down and curbstomp the shit out of -a- again.

    2. And how many times has the CFC had to clear out Delve? Oh sorry, I forgot, it's different this time... You'll excuse the sarcasm. Yeah, there's the answer to your nonsense point.

    3. @Znybar: of the five Goon Delve Wars to date, this is the second successful one. Delve Wars I, III, and IV were unsuccessful.

    4. True, but my point was that very idea that an entity will never lose sovereignty of certain areas is nonsense, especially in Delve where Sov seems to switch every few months.

    5. The last delve war was against ev0ke, which is a far more harder enemy to beat than -a-.
      For a various amounts of reasons, primary one being that they are not complete shit, and used alot of dirty methods (ddos'ing comms and what not).

      And then it was mostly goons by themselves that was down there swinging their dicks. Now you have test, 99%, aurora shadow etc that live closeby and have a much larger interest in keeping their own space instead of living under the roof of test.

      The reason why the space was left unattended since the last war, was because the CFC was busy grabbing tenal/venal. And had no interest in that region at that time,

      If -a- are that delusional that they believe they will simply take back the space once goons leave. I feel sorry for them, but hey, atleast -a- killboard is green, oh wait, no it isnt!

      And to be quite honest, i seriosly doubt that -a- will have the morale or the allies required to even remotely threaten the south after all is said and done. During the last fight, -a- & friends did barely have any allies on field, cause they where busy evacuating their assets out of 319 with the sight on something else.

  6. The question about CCP's part on this is if they'll be able to act soon enough once it really snowballs, they know it's broken, but so far it's been in their interest to leave it broken. Every year the sov map falls under fewer and fewer people's control. At the start of last year there were 5-6 major powers. By middle of last year there were 3-4. Now there are 2-3.

    I'm going to spitball now, so bare with me. We know ring mining is going in. That's a marque feature with thousands of hours of work going into it by many devs. We also know The Dead Horse is finally being resurrected, and in a big way. Another center piece feature. So the next 2 expansions probably are spoken for and won't have the manpower for a fundamental rework of Null's mechanics. That gives us winter of next year as the next available open slot. So how far will it go astray in the next year and a half.

    That's a doom and gloom prediction, and I know I'm probably 100% off base because Eve is simply too large to be owned by one single entity, but if it actually shrinks to just two, that's more than enough to do lasting harm to the sandbox. It's not just 0.0 being affected, the amount of power the few true players in 0.0 already hold echoes back into empire and low every day. It also causes stagnation within the playerbase that make up the alliances, and ultimately eve as a whole.

    So back to my original question. Will CCP be able to fix it fast enough assuming the current curve of players in 0.0 politics continues on it's current trajectory? Or could it do lasting harm to the game before they have time to fix it?

    It's something I've been thinking about a lot on and off ever since CCP caved on this question in Dominion. Will they be able to cave on it forever, or will it come back to haunt them?

    1. "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." Alphonse Karr 1849

  7. Really enjoyed this one, I think its okay to be opinionated and take a side on these events once and awhile, even if you have been catching some flack from other eve related content providers for it recently. New Eden needs a group to love to hate and goons really do make a great candidate for it. Even though I completely agree the recent delve war has been an "I don't care" sort of war it all helps to reinforce goons or CFC if you prefer... still basically goons, as the group to gun for. Thanks for the insight and the force of will to continue speaking your mind. (even if it is tongue in cheek)

  8. Lol, love the title.

  9. "Between this and eventual destructible outposts, expect the outcry from big alliances to escalate for the ability to grief low-sec and null-sec NPC stations and the small alliance residents thereof.
    Giving Null the ability to target lo & NPC station them right now would just throw fuel on an already simmering fire.
    CCP has been percieved as trending towards kow towing to BIG alliances over smaller alliances,corps& HI SEC. They continue this course at some point what you'll see happen is a BIG population explosion in HI SEC & WHs.
    At that point DEVs will be pressured to try to force peeps back into NULL SEC & that will just fall flat on its face.
    Imagine if CCP started allowing WH stabilizers so NULL could 'participate' in WHs in mass...

  10. Doesn't the Mittani look tried?

  11. But what could CCP do to prevent the "Two Superblocs Staring At Each Other" scenario? Isn't the problem rooted in the fact that sov-0.0 is nothing but a big game of Capture The Flags?

  12. Read yer history. Wars are resource based. Everyone, or at least a large part, of EVE pilots are stoopidly rich and resources are readily available throughout the cluster.

    I hate to say it but you wanna make wars have meaning, then you gotta have 'poor' vs 'rich' and haves vs havenots... and what we have is 'rich' vs 'richer'.

    The Problem is if CCP made (setup, mechaniced it so) a segment of EVE is 'poor' (and therefor has some motivation to go to war other than the LULZ)... and they'll go play Tanks.

    EVE aint real... sadly, it actually is just a game.


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