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.
You can follow along, if you want...

Monday, May 19, 2014

There's no need to fear

Kind of a quickie, but one that kind of makes me smile.

Have you ever noticed that the CFC is constantly trying to push the narrative of itself as the down-trodden underdog new kid that is just trying to succeed in the galaxy despite everyone being against them? Meanwhile, we play EVE in a New Eden where:
  • I'd bet money that 90% of active EVE players have no idea where Xetic Federation lived;
  • I'd bet money that 80% of active EVE players have no idea who Lotka Volterra was; and,
  • I'd bet money that 70% of active EVE players don't know who SirMolle is or why he was important.
Hell, the only reason I know these things is because I bothered to look them up years after I started to play EVE. At the time I started to care, all three were already mostly or completely irrelevant. But I'll bet 95% of active EVE players know who GoonSwarm is. If not 100%.

I like to throw history into this blog from time to time because most people don't care about history and it's entertaining to me to try to make it fun to read about. But by default, people care about their own experiences, not the experiences of people in the past. And the same holds true for EVE Online.

Like the large majority of currently active EVE players, I didn't start playing in 2003. For me, the Great Northern War happened in 2011 (yes, there was a prior one). By the time I took any interest in sov whatsoever and another "Great War" happened, I had to be told it was actually the "Second Great War" and again, I had to read about the first one. Hell, my very first personal experience with Goons -- the first time I ever heard of them -- they were the aggressor. I watched them help push Ethereal Dawn out of their space in the drone lands.

For as long as I've been playing EVE, if I were to order the power blocs in order of perceived power, I would put GoonSwarm and their allies first. For as long as I've paid attention to such things, they've always been the strongest power in New Eden. They've never been anything but the strongest power. It's been everyone else that's had to wage guerrilla wars against them.

And I doubt very much I'm alone in this. Hell, I suspect this is the case for the vast majority of active EVE players.

As recently as four months ago, the CFC blasted aside Pandemic Legion, knocked N3 to their knees, and held a knife to their collective throat. The only reason N3 isn't all but dead right now is because the CFC kicked N3 over, handed the knife to StainWaggon, said "have fun", and walked away. The perception is they couldn't be bothered to actually land the killing blow against such a weak enemy. Anyone besides me remember
We end the war between the RUS and N3 by stabbing N3 in their heart over and over and over again until they stop moving.
? Anyone besides me remember
When Goonswarm was founded, we based our diplomacy on one principle: to be the best possible friend and the worst possible enemy. N3 declared that they exist to destroy us: if we merely slap them on the wrist and take three regions from them, we are hardly the worst possible enemy. It is time to live up to our founding ethos.
? These are hardly the words of an underdog. I haven't noticed Deklein getting invaded lately. I've written before about how ironic this narrative is.

And yet, I'm still reading stuff from CFC authors whining about the big bad N3 that is way stronger than them and way richer than them, and how the CFC has to scrape pennies together to get a bare few super-caps to defend themselves against these horrible ruffians. As I said, it kind of makes me smile. On top of being the strongest coalition at everything else, they're still the strongest coalition at propaganda, too.

EDIT (23/May/2014):  I was asked repeatedly for some kind of "source" for my position above which struck me as amusingly ludicrous. It comes up in virtually every Goon communication at every level. And then Mittens was good enough to continue the tradition in today's CEO Update, stating "We have suffered essentially continuous attack since our inception" which is so ridiculous that I had to stop reading to laugh for a few minutes...

65 comments:

  1. I didn't know I paid attention to these things longer than you. But yep - same thing for me. Goons were goons as they're now since not long after that first war...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anyone who's followed any kind of legal proceedings or politics knows that you ask for more than you expect to get, and you frame the debate early and hard with every available talking point.

    The whining is a negotiation tactic. Goons sell themselves as the underdog for the same reason the powerful anywhere, ever, do: so fewer people will ask why they hell they haven't already been nerfed.

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  3. If that is what you read in my post, it is because that is the attitude you brought with you. That certainly wasn't what I wrote.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You spent five paras setting up the post, then ten paras talking about how poor, weak, and disorganized the CFC is when compared to the competition.

      How was someone supposed to read it?

      Delete
    2. That's exactly what you wrote. The only people who believe that Goons are Poor, Weak, and Disorganized, are the Goon Grunts who buy into the propaganda.

      Goons+CFC have as many supers if not more, than N3 and PL, combined.
      Goons+CFC have more renter income. Goons+CFC have more Capital level Grunts flying Carriers and Dreadnaughts.

      When someone tells me that Goons+CFC can fly 3 full fleets of Dreadnaughts, while still having a full fleet of supers + titans and a full fleet of sub-capital support; I believe them.

      Delete
    3. I read it as bemoaning the Sov System for several paragraphs, then going back on what felt like the premise of the article in the last 4 sentences. The article felt like....

      "It's raining and miserable outside, but I don't mind playing baseball in the rain.".

      Delete
    4. He is just telling the truth. CFC is poor, weak, and disorganized when compared to the competition.

      What he didn't tell is that they also 10x bigger. No CFC fleet EVER won a battle with equal pilots on both sides. But they barely had such fights.

      Delete
  4. I'll have to ask you for quote on that, because you are, from my point of view, reading things that are not there. Saying NCDot has a lot more systems up for rent is not the same thing as "whining about the big bad N3." At no point did I did I paint the CFC as being on the defensive or outgunned. Hell, I spent a few lines wondering what this whole The Bastion alliance was about, even linking out to Gevlon. Are relatively polite links to Gevlon part of the CFC playbook in your opinion?

    From my point of view, I spent those 10 paras gawking at the fact that one third of null sec is up for rent by the three blocs, that big supercap fights seem not out as of the question as you once declared, and that the part of null sec not fully entwined with those three rental blocs adds up to a meager three regions with little hope of change. That would see, to me, to be a springboard to declare "null is dead!" and not "CFC propaganda!"

    I think you assume a lot more planning on my part when it comes to posts. Any post tagged with "meandering" means I wandered off topic, or barely had one to start with. But generally I try to come back to a point with my last question, which was:

    "So where will null go? Will it be stagnation or bloody super capital warfare?"

    I don't know what else to say. Neville Smit thought it was a good summary of null sec at the moment. But maybe he is pro-CFC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not "pro-CFC" - neither am I against them. E-UNI is neutral and so am I. I liked your summary of the current state of null sec - but I think Jester is right that CFC could have pressed their advantage if they so chose to do so. Why they did not, only The Mittani knows.

      Delete
    2. The Mittani knows that killing an enemy doesn't mean victory in Eve, it means a power vacuum that has to get filled by someone other than the CFC which is already managing at capacity. A weakened enemy you know is better than the one you don't.

      Delete
  5. The Goon propaganda machine gets plenty of help with this particular narrative from outsiders. Consider this quote from PL member Richter Belmont:

    https://www.kugutsumen.com/showthread.php?44415-The-Southeast-The-Event-Horizon/page23&p=545889#post545889

    Of course, that was all before B-R happened, but it isn't hard to find members of other coalitions claiming that the CFC is, despite all evidence to the contrary, utter sh*t.

    ReplyDelete
  6. O! beware, my lord, of jealousy;
    It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
    The meat it feeds on.
    ~William Shakespeare, Othello

    ReplyDelete
  7. There was another address by mittani I remember, something along the lines of "the elite pvp are back, we remember their names well, Evolution, etc. etc.". Really, let's take a poll of cfc members who remember evolution. The propaganda is totally out of touch.

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  8. Thus we witness the beginning of Ripard's Next Crusade. Emboldened by his Erotica1 victory, he decides to hunt whale, minnows are no longer enough.

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  9. Poetic - get fucked

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Drinks or the #30 sand paper to wrap the police baton with? Both?

      Delete
    2. @ Anonymous 7:26 PM Why the hate? Because the guy pulled an RMT stunt, quit EVE and came back, and there's nothing anyone (you) can do about it, except for spew obscenities over the internet?

      @ Poetic 6:53 PM Erotica1 deserved his permanent ban from EVE, and will probably be banned from SC if he continues his tactics. I commend Ripard for using this medium for a positive effect. Players like Erotica1 are a primary reason for the stunning growth (sarcasm) of the EVE player base.

      Delete
  10. I went back a re-read the linked post. I have no idea where on *Earth* you are getting your conclusion from. There is literally a single sentence in the entire post that mentions that the CFC is a looser coalition than N3 or PL, which is debatable, though I think it is actually true.

    There is also no way anywhere near 95% of all EVE players know what goons are. This was well proven during the last Burn Jita.

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  11. I always wondered when Ripard would break down and go full retard. I guess this is it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "And yet, I'm still reading stuff from CFC authors whining about the big bad N3 that is way stronger than them"

    *citation needed*

    "and way richer than them"

    *citation needed*

    "and how the CFC has to scrape pennies together to get a bare few super-caps to defend themselves against these horrible ruffians."

    *citation needed*

    Back up your points (which realistically you can't do because they're wrong), apologize (which you can't do because you're too proud), or continue to watch your reputation dissolve away like a PL titan in BR (which you can't do because you're blind to it). Ah well, I suppose I meant: carry on carrying on.

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  13. In my CFC alliance, I doubt anyone thinks the CFC is anything but the most powerful. We can still lose fights, of course, and get knocked down, we've got weaknesses that we're always trying to patch up. But the advantage is, and has been, ours. I really don't know where you're getting this premise, Ripard.

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  14. I think you and I read different posts from Wilhelm. I see a few sentences that point to potential disadvantages (a smaller and more recently started rental empire and a looser structure). The first is undoubtedly true, though it also suggests that there is more room for growth. The second is beyond my limited knowledge of null bloc structures, though the Mittani's prominence makes me skeptical.

    The bulk of the post, though, points to stagnation between empires that can crush any interlopers, and it includes the CFC in the ranks of the empires. Hardly a narrative of the CFC as scrappy underdogs.

    ReplyDelete
  15. ah yes, the great entrapment that anybody can make within the metagame. I'd agree, Burn Jita should be an eye opener. The gist is this: when you learn to play chess; you learn to play the game twice over. You first learn how to move your pieces, you then learn how your opponent can move their pieces. Thus for the metagame - it should be understood there are some people in Eve who are completely ignorant of entire process. I was recently listening to Zander and Jeg wax lyrical; neither of them could comprehend how someone can play Eve and not be aware of Burn Jita or Hulkageddon or the metagame. Wait, someone else does not see the game the way I can? It is not easy to learn the pieces all over again.

    For some players, they log-in and only see what happens in their system; or sometimes their region. (because the market shows the region prices, hombre). So even if a Goon or New Order or some sort of other undesirable shows in local. So what?! Unless this happens in their belt or in their mission - it does not exist. So, no it is not 100% of players have heard of the Goons.

    But, that out of the way. I do have a tendency to somewhat agree with what you are saying here Jester. My opinion, the Goons have been making efforts at rejuvenating their image for sometime. How do you attract renters when you are known as a scourge?

    Jester, you asked why people didn't vote for mynnna with CSM9 after what you credit as excellent effort for CSM8. Maybe you have had the privilege of sitting in the room with person. But I only see a Goon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "My opinion, the Goons have been making efforts at rejuvenating their image for sometime. How do you attract renters when you are known as a scourge?"

      We setup shop and put me in charge. Who better to run it than someone too wealthy to be bothered to scam, right? Didn't really take long, we had 40 corps and a thousand people inside a month, and each successful agreement has only cemented the reputation. "Rejuvenation of image" was not and has not been necessary.

      Delete
    2. @mynnna 10:16 PM - Your level of smug is astounding. How ironic. The big bad CFC relying on carebears/pubbies for their rental income. Null-sec with training wheels....smh

      Delete
    3. I did not vote for mynnna for a simple reason: as much as I wanted more industry types on the CSM, mynnna is a Goon that likely has the voting power of the CFC behind him, he shouldn't need my vote (or top rankings on STV if you prefer that term) whereas Steve and Sugar definitely did.

      All that said I'm lamenting the lack of Malcanis choler.

      Delete
  16. Since you mentioned SirMolle... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IJawIjpmkA

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sounds like your grasping at straws Jester. You need mud to sling at Goons but can't find anything that either hasn't been beaten to death already or is used as a point of pride by them.

    Why don't you write about how N3/PL are in the process of dismantling NRDS Providence and the last independent groups in Null.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Step one - misquote some nobody from a minor cfc alliance to try to claim the cfc constantly casts itself as the underdog
    Step two - accurately quote the head of the cfc doing exactly the opposite of what you claim the cfc does
    I think nosy gamer is right: https://twitter.com/noizygamer/status/468571474941313025

    ReplyDelete
  19. gotta keep those super pilots on jabber and logging in somehow.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Judging by the bleating from the CFC sheep in the above comments you seem have hit a nerve Ripard ;-)

    In the referenced post, I was intriuged to read that Querios no longer falls within the CFC umbrella - did INIT leave or does SOLAR couch crashing pocket count as an opposing side these days?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Speaking as part of GSF leadership, "Querious isn't CFC space" is news to me.

      Delete
    2. You should let TAGN know then ["....And then there is the slice of null sec that isn’t occupied by the three main empires, which is now thinner than ever. Looks like just Providence, Catch, and Querious at this point....."] :-P

      Delete
    3. Why don't *you* let him know, Kinis?

      Delete
  21. Controlling the narrative is like PR101. The Goons are good at most things they do, they're a prime example of a well functioning meritocracy. So yeah their PR & Propaganda people are pretty good too.

    And remember, you don't have to believed to still control the narrative vOv

    ReplyDelete
  22. How to defeat the Goons:

    Stop giving your money to CCP. Once they file bankrupcy and Tranquility is shut down, there will not be Goons anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They play other games. I think I read somewhere there are more people in the somethingawful community than there are Eve players total.

      Delete
    2. You know nothing about Goons.

      Goons is the diminutive of a SomethingAwful.com member. They are everywhere. Not simply EVE.

      Delete
  23. "We are here to destroy YOUR game" - Darius JOHNSON/TheMittani/Karttoon/Every other GSF CEO EVER.

    They wouldn't be hated if they hadn't entered EVE with that exact quote and opinion on how to play the game.

    They also wouldn't be hated if they didn't make it their entire ethos to look down on others that are neutral to them or play the game differently to them.

    GSF wouldn't be hated if they didn't make it their entire goal to piss everyone else off for their own kicks.

    GSF wouldn't be hated if their entire narrative wasn't a farce that everyone else sees through anyway.

    Bottom line: if GSF doesn't want to be hated (They do want to be hated, mind you...) they wouldn't be so goddamned abrasive to deal with on every level.

    Having actually had some dealings with them in the past, GSF are some of the most immature players I've ever had the misfortune of interacting with.

    I said this -years- ago: The way to defeat goons... is if every other non CFC member ignored them, and their minions. That won't happen because there are too many people involved that would have to get on board. The point is, they are very similar to children - they demand attention and stomp their feet when people forget about them.


    Before anyone jumps on the bandwagon to defend the CFC: Do your history on the game, and then look at the alliances I have been in. I've been blue to goons and red to them a couple times over. I speak only from experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Goons are certainly tossers, but the biggest arseholes can be found in PL and NC.

      Delete
    2. SirMolle, as far as I know, only declared that goons were not welcome in nullsec. Goons go one further in the arsehole stakes and declare that everyone else is not welcome in the game, period.

      Delete
  24. You always know someone has hit home with a piece when the CFC's spin department starts to turn up in their comments section.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's fairly bad reasoning right there. Anytime you say something factually incorrect about someone, particularly on a popular blog, it does not take much prodding for them to respond.
      But go ahead and think of it as 'hitting a nerve,' if that's your cup of tea.

      Delete
    2. Exactly, Solai. If Ripard had written "All Goons are pedophiles", the fact that Goons come to defend themselves does not make Ripard's claims true.

      Delete
  25. Ripard the kindest response I can think of to this piece is to ask if you accidentally linked to a different article or web page than you meant to?

    I mean if you did, just admit it and correct the link. It's OK man, we've all fallen victim to little clipboard misunderstandings at one time or another.

    ReplyDelete
  26. "The CFC also suffers from being something of a fragmented coalition, each with its own set of policies and ambitions."

    Made me laugh out loud.

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  27. Since there are no officially recognised journalistic bodies of EVE universe excellence I hereby nominate this article (only half jokingly) for a The Scope award for impolitic candour. More please.

    ReplyDelete
  28. When the first thing you read on the Something Awful forum rules is "We here on the Something Awful Forums are very elitist and strict assholes" (source), that leaves an impression.

    The actions of members of a group leave an impression about the norms of behavior of that group.

    Throwing barrages of insults as part of an argument (source) leaves an impression. Inciting harassment (source) leaves an impression. Contempt leaves an impression. Elitism leaves an impression.

    "Reputation is what others know about you," said Lois McMaster Bujold. Reputation's built not just on words, but on actions. What's said can change, but what's done is done, and actions leave a pretty big impression.

    ReplyDelete
  29. "Have you ever noticed that the CFC is constantly trying to push the narrative of itself as the down-trodden underdog new kid that is just trying to succeed in the galaxy despite everyone being against them?"

    Yep, The CFC seems to have taken it's public image messaging from the right wing U.S. christians. They have are the biggest single block, have the most money, most politicians, and demand everything be catered to them, all the while screaming "persecution" towards everyone else. It's almost as if the Mitani took lessons from the Ralph Reed playbook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. uhh.... I kinda suspect that rationale wouldn't fly among folks who do official-like defining of that sort of thing. On the other hand, if sociopath is a word you'd prefer to jury-rig into whatever desired context you find convenient, well, then keep on truckin.

      Delete
    2. this... got applied to the wrong blurb. My bad.

      Delete
  30. There's no need to fear, but...


    ...Dr. Eyjogg is leaving CCP too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish him luck. The guy is brilliant, and that sort of talent shouldn't be tied to just one endeavor for too long.

      Delete
  31. I don't even know the point of Ripard's blog.

    Water is wet, the sky is blue (outside of China and parts of the u.s), and the goons are brilliant politicians, very organized bureaucrats, and avaricious sociopaths. This is known by all who play this game on anything more than a very casual level.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no idea what you just said, but I think I agree.

      Delete
    2. If you think someone is genuinely a sociopath because they like to smash internet spaceships together, you should probably take a little time away from the computer.

      Delete
    3. Amalec: Smashing spaceships together inside a space combat simulator is hardly unusual, and makes no one a sociopath. Now, HOW one does it, and HOW they act in and out of the game surrounding those actions, that defines someone as a sociopath.

      Suggesting to thousands of your followers to grief a player to suicide, no matter how drunk you are, defines you as a sociopath.

      Delete
    4. >Suggesting to thousands of your followers to grief a player to suicide, no matter how drunk you are, defines you as a sociopath.

      I agree.

      Delete
    5. "Suggesting to thousands of your followers to grief a player to suicide, no matter how drunk you are, defines you as a sociopath."

      And following such an individual definitely raises questions about your mental and emotional stability as well.

      Delete
  32. in for a pence in for a pound: The CFC renter problem isn't its value or size (directly) its in its alliances under the umbrella you can go though 40 razor systems and not see a thing but let one renter wander in there and Razor will go ballistic. CFC renter program would be bitter if the alliances within the CFC would let accept smaller space and turn over the unused space to the GWCPS.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I've been playing almost 5 years and I have never heard of the first 2 on your list.

    ReplyDelete
  34. CFC and Goonswarm is overrun with the kind of J4G pubbies they claim to despise. You ask if they know who Xetic, Lotka or Molle are? Hell, do they know who Lowtax, Integral or Fragmaster are? Goons in Eve aren't actual Goons anymore, and haven't been for a long time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EVE may have hybridised them but their heritage is clear.

      Delete

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