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, August 5, 2013

Of sound mind?

For those not keeping track, there is a somewhat humorous war going on down in Providence that CSM8 member Ali Aras finds herself in the thick of.  And it all starts with a single Omen Navy Issue.

Providence is well-known for being a "NRDS" region: "not red, don't shoot."  This means that those that consent to live there under the direction of the Curatores Veritatis Alliance (CVA) only shoot at targets that CVA sets as hostile.  If you want to hold space in Provi, you're expected to be beholden to CVA rules.  Those that do are selected as "holders", or sov-holders, holding one or more systems or stations in Providence.

On this particular day, two holder fleets operating independently simultaneously landed on a hostile fleet known to use neutral Lokis.  The ONI in question was part of one fleet, a Loki part of the other.  To the ONI pilot, the Loki was neutral or hostile (reports differ) and as a result the ONI pilot saw the Loki as a valid target and opened fire.  He was ordered to cease fire and eventually did so.  However, regarding this as a "blue-on-blue" attack, the FC of the fleet that included the Loki ordered the ONI destroyed and rudely stated in Local that the ONI pilot could take it up with the appropriate diplomats.  Only this time, the FC happened to be XavierVE, the leader of the Of Sound Mind alliance.

Under normal circumstances, once things cooled down a bit, the ONI would be reimbursed by the leader of the offending alliance and all would be well.  XavierVE was duly contacted by the appropriate diplos, ordered to reimburse the loss, et cetera.  XavierVE refused, stating that the blue-on-blue kill was justified by the attack on his fleet's Loki.  The demands for reimbursement slowly escalated, as did XavierVE's refusals.  Soon this matter of principle had escalated beyond the realm of sanity to the point where CVA declared Of Sound Mind pilots as hostile and declared they had lost "holder" status and would be forcibly evicted if they did not leave willingly.  XavierVE refused that(!) as well and basically said "bring it on!"(1)

And now we've got a little Provibloc civil war happening down south that's been going on for five days now.  You can get more detail (including logs of the EVE mails and such) here, here, and here.

It's entertaining, but that isn't the funny part.  The funny part is that the supposedly rampantly undiplomatic XavierVE seems to have been offered the help of every ne'er-do-well alliance and group within 70 jumps that doesn't mind poking CVA in the eye.  Suddenly, this undiplomatic person seems to be doing his best to coordinate the activities of an impromptu coalition whose major focus seems to be to blow up as many CVA ships as possible while Of Sound Mind itself (a tiny group not much bigger than Rote Kapelle) tries to organize and take advantage of the chaos... and oh yes, try to hold on to their two stations in Providence.  Needless to say, both of these have been amusingly renamed after sci-fi/fantasy independents being overwhelmed by a repressive alliance.

What's even funnier?  Of Sound Mind appears to be winning, at least for the moment.

Every couple of days, XavierVE posts the daily battle reports on Failheap Challenge which are the most entertaining possible reading and viewing (a couple of them come with videos).  This has the potential to turn into the most memorable war of 2013, far out-stripping that one-sided little fracas in Fountain.  It's already the most humorous war of 2013, a chaotic little charlie-foxtrot involving at least seven different alliances all with different goals but all intent on making CVA's job of dealing with a "rebel" as difficult, embarrassing, and explosion-filled as possible.

I'm only getting caught up with this now, but I'm finding it hugely entertaining.  Keep it up, Of Sound Mind!  The bad news is that I do expect they'll lose in the end.  The good news is that this undiplomatic person and his alliance will almost certainly be offered their choice of far superior sov space somewhere else in New Eden soon after their eviction from Provi is complete.  The only real question will be whether the absolutely excellent CSM8 member Ali Aras remains the Provibloc CSM8 member.

(1) And yes, I absolutely understand there were other contributing factors to CVA's decision as well.  No break-up happens for a single reason.


  1. So, note: This is just my opinion, not that of my corp or alliance.

    To back up a bit, jester, there was an incident with a freighter you didn't mention that factored into the reset by CVA.

    more info here:

    Tl;dr: OSM had it coming, IMO. They (Xavier in specific) consistently showed ill will to the rest of the region.

    1. If it's the JF incident, yeah, I'm familiar with it. Thus the footnote. I realize there was more to it than this. But the fact remains that had Xavier paid off the ONI, none of this would be happening.

    2. Yes it would have, it was only a matter of time.
      OSM was looking for an excuse to start fighting CVA for a while already.

    3. And here I thought all this was because sound had alts in red flwets flying in battles against nrds pilots

  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YjpPMbzhhM

    ^^^ This is why I like this game!

  3. From what I've heard from Ali (being in OSM myself we do talk), she's not changing tacks or anything. With the CSM stuff, she has to remain independent of us. We know this, and generally we also love NRDS/Providence ourselves.
    We just got put in a long standing set of issues, which was resolved (lol) by making Xavier diplo.

  4. I'm glad you are getting your kicks from the battle reports Xavier wrote up, they were pretty well written. As a SOUND leader I know I'm having a great time witnessing my people step up in this conflict.

    To paint this as an issue stemming from one recent diplomatic issue though lacks a little back story and context. SOUND's leaders particularly myself, June and Xavier spent a lot of time interacting with Provi holder leaders/diplos over the last year or so and we've had rocky diplomatic relations with most coalition partners since day one, even before we were given sov.

    Essentially many of the holders see themselves as "above" others, and SOUND being both new and small got the brunt of this ego thrust in our faces. It's not just how CVA holders treat each other though that is the issue here... how they treat neutrals is itself also a huge problem. In SOUND the corps V.N and Dark-Tech both came under our wing because the antisocial and negative culture the other coalition holders had towards new faces... we always tried to breed a culture of respect for neutrals who tried to do their part in the region. We also had two neutral corps living in our sov space - which is not a pocket or ideal for industry by any means - because they felt like other holders were just very negative and treated them horribly. In my history of being in Provi I can only praise -7- and 4th for being very inviting or social on any level.

    So the incident wasn't just about the particular pilot in question. Only after the offending pilot shot the Loki neutral (keeping in mind we've witnessed many acts of bad behavior to neutrals in Provi through our stay in the region) and he bad mouthed in local over it was he shot at. Then after losing his ship, rather than apologize - which may have gotten him a reimbursement - he mouthed off about how no matter how he behaved he'd be getting his Omen Navy Issue reimbursed by his diplo team. Which is normally how it works in Provi... none of the coalition members hold themselves to any kind of standard about how they treat neutrals and new faces so they develop these real shitty awful attitudes.

    Well SOUND just doesn't sponsor that kind of bad behavior. If it takes us telling Equinox that the guy doesn't deserve of a reimbursement, then that's just a sad state of affairs really.

    I remember when Aralis was in charge, we'd constantly be reminded through speeches about how important the neutral was in Provi and how the concept of the "genuine neutral" is what our region and kill policies were all about. Somewhere down the line someone forgot that and the coalition got full of assholes who shoot neutrals in friendly fleets and who think they can just trash talk the whole system and still get reimbursed, and frankly we know from experience coalition diplos support and endorse this bad behavior... and it's pretty sad.

    The Provibloc coalition won't go far in the future if somewhere they don't remember how to treat neutrals and new faces. That was always on SOUND's priority list but I find it rather ironic all considered that SOUND is no longer invited to be a Provibloc partner mainly BECAUSE we put it so high in our priority list.

    1. Phoebus, it was shown that the mouthing was triggered by a comment in local that had nothing to do with either fleet. Meanwhile, try to put yourself into Equinox's shoes - twice now has he had to come to Xavier in a short time and twice he had been rejected. I mean, come on, I'd personally reimbuse the bloody Omen if it ment you kept your sov. Instead this whole thing escalated beyond all proportions.

      Don't get me wrong, I get that you're annoyed by treatment of neutrals and I understand that you're feeling like the NRDS is slowly turning into NBSI, thus we stand with -7-. Still, I believe the issue could be handled with more diplomatic tact and without your sov loss. I just feel like you're punching when you should have caressed.

    2. tufy: No, it was not shown that the mouthing was triggered by the red in system mouthing off. The context wasn't there for the comments, nor the timing.
      Also Equinox wanted not the reimbursement as much as an apology. One of the nice things about SOUND is that our leadership is generally really nice about forwarding email to everyone in SOUND, down to the line members. Which is also why we solidly support XavierVE -- even though he can be short, and harsh to a fault, he's the most honest and up-front Alliance Exec/CEO I've seen in this game. There is no cloak and dagger crap, no money-pocketting. Our SRP is strong even though we're a tiny alliance, we see and hear 99% of the diplomatic crap that we've had thrown at us first-hand.

      Also, if the previous diplomats weren't bashed on, lied to, etc, they'd still be diplomats. After June, Ali, and PA gave up the Diplomat position because of constant disrespect, Xavier asked others to speak up if they wanted to give it a shot and openly stated that his 'diplomacy' wasn't going to be seen as very diplomatic at all. We knew then that the chance of us being evicted skyrocketed. But after seeing the utter bullshit that CVA and provi-block were shoving down our previous diplomat's throats, no-one wanted it. So Xavier had to take it -- and he doesn't tolerate bullshit from his own. So why the hell should he put up with it from other people who don't have anything but their own interests at heart?
      We tried caressing. We got bullied and griped at. So instead of the velvet speech of a diplomat, we gave up, and put Xavier there. His velted is full of rocks, and he isn't afraid to whack unreasonable idiots upside the head with them.

    3. Sound getting on it's high-horse about violations of NRDS after Sound FCs, have FC'ed fleets of reds (Brave Newbies) who regularly shot at blues and neutrals in Providence is more then a little hypocritical.

      In the end, the real reason for the reset was the espionage carried out by Sound against CVA and other Providence alliances.

      The evidence is mounting that Sound has been bored in Providence for quite some time now. But rather than leave on good terms to try other things outside of the Provibloc. Sound planned and prepared for a war, and deliberately provoked it. To provide "a summer of content" for it's pilots.

      At least be honest, you planned all this long before, and got exactly what you wanted. Judas!

    4. It is funny how you say the pilot that shot the neutral bad mouthed the fleet. From the Local Chat log, the only one that is dropping the f-bombs and insults repeateadly and then the comment about the diplos and their anatomic parts is Xavier himself.

      So please stop trying to make everyone believe SOUND is saint-like/victims in this matter, they share a huge portion of the blame in all of this conflict.

      As far as Provi imposing their "I'm better than you" attitude, I think Xavier learned from that as well, cause he has that kind of attitude towards others. So again, hardly a victim.

    5. Regarding the openess of Provi and naming only -7- and 4th as being inviting and social: Your forgetting about to mention the QBL Pocket which welcomed a plethora of more industy orientied corps and allies like NEIA (New Eden Industrie Alliance) amongst many others. And this pocket is run by CVA, mainly in the name of CVA corps like Rennfeuer and Corp 54. So it's more a question of with whom you are talking. Not all of provi is that evil like you want to paint them.
      Noone can claim to be either black or white... The truth lies in between...

    6. "In the end, the real reason for the reset was the espionage carried out by Sound against CVA and other Providence alliances."

      That thread was leaked by a CVA member (to more people than just SOUND), not a spy. Espionage was simply the justification given by CVA to attack earlier than the 24 hr. window we were given.

      "The evidence is mounting that Sound has been bored in Providence for quite some time now."

      No argument there. Hostiles were busy fighting in other regions. We'd been doing as lot of wormhole diving lately.

      "Sound planned and prepared for a war, and deliberately provoked it."

      Yeah, in hindsight we shouldn't have waited for EQ's ultimatum and done all our preparations on Sunday and Monday before we got attacked. By the way, you look lovely in a tinfoil hat.

    7. @JenSalik
      We didn't say everyone in CVA is horrible. We still have friends in CVA. I *came* from CVA to SOUND. I still love my old corp, DFE. They're good people though not as active as when I first joined (hopefully that is changing). We're not saying Providence is evil, but that the people who run that freakshow are. Too much palm greasing, boot-licking, and ass kissing goes on. We don't do any of the above. Also, our guys FCing BNI a few times doesn't go against our mission -- we train newbies. BNI... erm what is their name again? Oh yeah Brave NEWBIES. Also, ddint' voilate our mission by takign them into providence - Our alliance has always been NRDS in providence -- NBSI elsewhere (because FFS they're NBSI if not NPSI.

      "Sound planned and prepared for a war, and deliberately provoked it."
      Erm... yes! "tin-foil hat looks good on you" as my fellow OSM said. The information we were given was by people who like us that are IN CVA. Not spies, not by hacking, or whatever. By friends who know what we're really about and not intertrolls hellbent on being trollish, or idiots who think they know things that they know absolutely nothing about aside from what their buddies tell them.
      We didn't prepare for anything until right after ONIgate. We knew the shit was in the fan already, and that VOLT would just plug it in -- they already have some stupid axe to grind.
      After all the crap, plus the wonderful thread we were forwarded... we put up one of the telling posts (argue all you want, We read the whole thread unedited), renamed our stations, evac'd non-essential assets, and yeah. Been having fun ever since.

    8. @Anonimous: sadly, I didn't see the background communication, all I have to comment on this is the logs and the thread on CVA forums. Specifically, the image of "bending the knee" comes from this thread: http://imgur.com/a/zyZOA - as you can see, there's nothing about "making Sound bend the knee", it's merely a discussion about NRDS vs NBSI outside Providence. Likewise, there's logs from KBP7-G that suggest Heinrich's crime is a reply to an uninvolved neutral in local ("[22:46:08] Crumeth > kill the cunt" - note: Crumeth is KOS on Provi kos list), which caused the whole incident. But shit happens, we all know that. Problem is, Heinrich mouthed back how he's getting reimbused anyway (because that's how Provi works), switching Xavier into rage mode, which led to some unwanted words, resulting in a diplomatic incident that escalated to CVA and eventually led to Sound being thrown out.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying CVA is right in this case, throwing you guys out over a bloody Omen is insane overexaggeration and I'd gladly pay for that Omen if it ment keeping you guys with us. However, when it comes to Provi, EQ as the leader of CVA is the arbiter and his word is final. If I'm not missing the elephant in the room, that's all there really is to it and things could have been fine with a slighly more diplomatic approach. Do you know what would happen if Russians and Americans acted like this in the Cold War? None of us would have been writing this. Sometimes you just have to ignore that shoe.

    9. 7? 7 fires on more blues and nuets and talks trash about it in local after then anyone else in provi block. Maybe cva should turn their eye on 7s actions next. 7 even says in local that they dont follow cva or their rules. They have their own rules and its definently not NRDS.

    10. "We still have friends in CVA"

      After your betrayal, I very much doubt that.

  5. We never intended to win... if we _did_, it'd be really awkward as we stared at CVA across our back fence.

    Also, living in provi, we can be the first people in the history of eve to say "didn't want that sov anyway" and have people believe us.

  6. Latest battle report (day 6-7)


  7. Make no mistake, CVA stands for NRDS and stop accusing us to shoot neuts all over the place - stop trolling on our hard work with your propaganda. We are maintaining KOS list which defines who is neut and who is red based on your actions in Providence - every holder/resident in Provi must follow the KOS list everywhere in EVE! This is why we exist and we are hard trying to roll it for years and we will fight for NRDS until we exist! CVA is one of the oldest alliance in EVE, even before alliance, as a feature, was even implemented in EVE - since then we are fighting for NRDS!

    Therefore, mistakes happen and we are solving it on the individual basis via CVA diplo channel. If you have a problem, go there and we will give our best to solve the problem. Also, understand that we have to deal with neut boosters/hot droppers (etc.) who are flying with reds on a daily basis - NRDS is much more complicated than NBSI. Also, people are not getting familiar with the Provi rules or check KOS system before they come to Provi and get shot.

    Please, to prevent incidents use KOS checker here:
    and the Provi FAQ here:

    To make things even more complicated, because Provi is a newbie welcoming region, we have pilots shooting ppl based on faulty overview settings - we non-stop have issues when some blue is shooting another blue because they see the other guy red in overview due to low security standing.

    To make one thing sure, there's a lot of ppl in CVA and other holders being reluctant to shoot at SOUND. For * sake, why didn't you deal the problem on the diplo level? All this thing is stupid as hell.

    Jester, I know you like Ali (we like both of you - best CSM reprpesnters IMO that we can have), but be thorough with your articles and do them fair for both sides; if you started to write about this - things are much more complicated than this ONI and it goes back for few months. Yeah, I know you have put a small little note at the end of the article, but you are stating exactly the opposite for the whole of your article which is mostly negative towards CVA/holders.

    I will repeat again: it is hard to shoot at our ex-bro guys, don't you understand it? :( Why sound doesn't just leave Provi since it is clear (by stupid events IMO) that we can'0t live together anymore. Stop violence don't fuel it up! There is so little entities who cares about NRDS - we don't have to shoot each other, we both like the same thing - maybe use this energy to build another NRDS region in some other space in eve?

    And I love to hear that Ali will still fight for better EVE towards new pilots in EVE not being blinded with these unfortunate events - we all need that even if you don't like NRDS!

    Good luck,
    MaD CheF

    1. i have 6 accounts with together 18 chars, spread over 4 corps/alliances.

      1 alliance is where my pvp chars in.
      2 corps are just for industry/cynoalts
      1 alliance is a well known alliance that provides extrem helpfull services to the public

      that service alliance was not engaged in any kind of pvp for all the years it exists. even evil lowsec and 0 sec pvpers consider us friendly because we never do anything someone could spin in a pvp relation.
      most people in this service alliance are alts from highsec people, lowsec people, 0.0 powerblocks and so on. most of us aresworn enemys with each others main chars. but people are able to do business with this char and pvp with that char and dont mix it up.

      my cynoalts are only used for my jumpfreighters. i never used them to light a cyno for pvp things. not even as midpoint or something. those 2 alt corps have exactly 0 kills on eve kill

      and still i dont have a single char on all my accounts that is not considered as hostile to cva and needs to be killed on sight.

      all those kos settings are based on "i have seen this char close to that kos char and i think they are together".
      and every char who is seen together with my peacefull alts will be set to kos as well.

      i mean you guys should realy consider to change the way your kos list works, and maybe you should consider to use something called common sense ^^

    2. Hello there,

      thank you for your reply. I'm sure you are telling the truth and I believe you that this might be the case. I also assure you that certainly not all KOS people have been set red for this reasons.

      KOS admins are obligated to check the facts before ppl are set red. I can't assure you, that some KOS admin didn't do such a thing to check the facts before setting ppl red - I honestly can't. I can tell you, that we are really picky, who is entitled to be a KOS admin, not every one has access to do that - just for the reason to avoid problems like you stated (as much as we can).

      I would like to kindly ask you, come to our cva-diplo channel and sort the things out, stating your problem and the diplos will check the reason why some character have been set red. If they don't have proof, request to be removed from the KOS list. If you will be tossed around, please shoot me an e-mail in game, and I'll try to help to resolve the problem.

      I must point out, that even if you personally didn't do anything wrong in Provi but your corpmate/alliance did, your corp might be set to red, etc. Also, if you were in KOS corp and you are now in NPC corp or single pilot corp, you are still red.

      Trust me, it's a little bit complicated, so read the FAQ listed above - we had numerous problems with pilots ganking ppl in Provi when they exploited initial rules, so rules were also adapted (years ago).

      So please, check KOS checker before roaming to Provi to avoid incidents in-front.

      Fly safe,
      MaD CheF

    3. MaD CheF, if you actually used your brain, as opposed to plunking down a form letter, you might have been able to guess that he's probably referring to the fact that Black Frog Logistics is KOS to Providence for some reason.

      I don't think he's asking to have that fixed, but the idea that a JF service whose livelihood depends on people trusting them to follow through would be hostile to *anyone*, or be able to do anything other than reject contracts afterward, is ridiculous. And yet...

      I'm not good enough with the KOS checker to get any details from that. Rumor has it, they're KOS because someone was once caught using Providence as a midpoint.

  8. Good. It's about time somebody kicked over CVA's sandcastle.

    1. ?? Like it hasn't happened before?

  9. We sneakily RFed a CSAA and R64 last night.


  10. I don't really get what's so funny about it. Way to go OSM? Hm, rethinking my vote...

  11. I think this entire debacle is pointless but then again this is often a game of whose sand castle you tip over and when.


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