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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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Stagnation revisited

With Marc Scaurus's "EVE blogger of the month" contest on hiatus for now, I wanted to highlight a few blog posts that have caught my eye this month, then wrap up with a brief "what it all means".  Yeah, this is one of those posts where I link several apparently-unrelated topics together.  And unsurprisingly, all of them have to with Retribution and what impact I think it's going to have on EVE.

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.


  1. About the part about nullsec being stagnant: back in 2010 I was in NC and everywhere I've read that such a big coalition could not be harmed and the game was lopsided cause NC was such a dominant force.... then it fell apart in a matter of months... since then I think in nullsec anything can happen...

  2. I don't think stagnation is the right word, either. I think that "boring" is much more appropriate.

    What I'd like to see is a lot more new blood in null sec, ie. new corps and new alliances - all with new players, not the same faces under different banners.

    However, I think the only way this will happen is if CCP would expand null sec with a lot of new, empty space - say, by quadrupling the current number of systems, connected to high sec via new regions of low sec (ie. not just connecting the new null sec to the old null sec).

    There would be no way for any of the existing alliances to claim that much space, esp. if tech moons were spread more evenly across it - at least, not for several more years. Lots of fertile space to allow those new alliances to form.

    Effectively, this would rewind the game, back to the good old days when alliances and coalitions were first expanding through the original empty null sec.

    1. If you think lack of space is the problem then you haven't been out in null. Vast swaths of systems go unused and are claimed simply to keep someone else from having them.

      I think the real problem is that the ideologies of the two biggest coalitions (CFC and HBC) are too compatible with each other. Until they develop some bad blood between them, they will continue to steamroll nullsec.

      What nullsec needs is a forest fire. Burn everything down so that new life can take root.

    2. @Anon749 - Yeah, but you can't get to those sections of null, without going through the systems held by the large alliances. They are all "behind the lines" and thus totally inaccessible to any new alliances/corps that want to claim some null sec space, in which to grow/prosper.

      I suppose CCP could open up new routes to those sections of null, by setting up new gates from low sec. This might have the same effect as creating more null sec, with less hassle for CCP devs. It might also spark that forest fire you are asking for.

  3. coalitions ruin nullsec

    1. This. But theres not much you can do to stop it from happening. What can you do; tell players NOT to work together???

  4. simple, CCP needs to introduce an Eve version of the Sherman Antitrust Act to prevent a unified blue null.

    1. The anti-trust act didn't stop Microsoft, why would you think it would stop the Goons?


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