First up is this interesting little throw-away post from Susan Black over at gamerchick. I describe it as throw-away because it really doesn't have all that much to say. It's the briefest of opinion pieces about stuff that's being implemented on December 4. As a result, the full piece probably isn't worth your time. That said though, it wraps (or close to wraps) with one of the most interesting quotes of this week:
Probably one of the first things I will do is put a bounty on my alliance. Come and hunt us people!And I have to say that's one hell of an idea. I'm going to suggest it to my alliance leadership in Rote Kapelle. I think Susan might have stumbled on to the one thing in the whole sorry bounty system that actually makes sense as a new game play mechanic. Paying other people to fight you. It really is kind of genius.
I'm sorry. I let a little bit too much sarcasm out at the end there. The momentum carried me. But the idea of bountying your own alliance to get other people to fight you really is pretty smart.
Moving on and somewhat related is this post from Kirith Kodachi over at Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah. And this piece is really pretty brilliant. It's probably the best thing that he's written all year so far, and he's written some pretty good stuff this year. Go read it, as it's well worth your time. That said, I'm going to sum up a bit.
I've already covered that I think "stagnant" is the wrong word to describe null-sec. I wrote on that topic at this time last year, and my opinions from that piece are more or less unchanged. "Stagnant" is the wrong word to use when there's so much change in null-sec sov, and there's been even more change this year than there was last. The fact that sov is homogenizing into one big blue ball might argue for stagnation to be the right word when I revisit this topic next year. But not this one.
Still, all that said, it's one of the best posts that Kirith has written in a long time and I think it's because it coalesces a lot of reasons for null-sec's decline into one big reason. As Kirith puts it, and again, this was a candidate for the quote of the week:
The reason for the stagnation is that the null sec alliances at the top have been too successful for their own good.And that's a very concise -- and the more I think about it, very accurate -- summation of all the problems facing null-sec sov right now. Anyone who came into null-sec without a sponsor would get absolutely smashed by ones that do, but in the process of conforming to their sponsor they lose any internal uniqueness.
Results: FCs burn out, only the best of them train replacements, and those replacements are just like the old ones. Kirith notes that Elise Randolph of all people is concerned about this. It's probably no coincidence I'm hearing rumors that Pandemic Legion is scooping up all the large-scale FCs they can get... and I'm not sure I blame them.
Which brings me to the third blog post that caught my interest, this one from Hans Jagerblitzen. It's an update on CSM activities. It's also probably not a coincidence that only five CSM members are mentioned prominently. You can check, but it's the same five that are always mentioned prominently. Three others are mentioned in passing, and a fourth is mentioned exactly once. Me, I was pretty sure there were thirteen CSM members. I'll have more to say about that on Monday.
Guess the game isn't the only place that's a little stagnant.