This is EVE. A game of incredible depth and limitless possibilities for the good, the evil, the criminally insane and the megalomaniacal. A game where anything goes.
- Player-created markets
- Territorial conflict
- Player-run corporations (corps) and alliances
- No defined “endgame”
- Lying, cheating, stealing, scamming all allowed.
In the midst of this is a power struggle of titanic proportions. A war the likes of which no online game has ever seen. Sure, you may say “But World of Warcraft has 40-man raids and battlegrounds where thousands of players do battle every day for land, power and glory”. This is somewhat off. The scale of this conflict beggars belief. Billions upon billions of ISK (the ingame currency) are gained and lost every week by pilots of the Red Swarm Federation and the Band of Brothers alliance. I initially wrote a huge primer about the various factions but I later edited it out because your teeth would turn inward and your eyeballs would bleed if you had to read the background info. I will post another entry and detail who is who. However, this post deals with the curious effect that we (GoonSwarm) seem to have on our enemies. It has to be pointed out here that GS is by no means an old alliance. Neither is the RSF in general. EVE has been running since 2003ish. Four long years. We have existed as a coherent entity for about one and a half of those four. The current phase of the conflict has been raging for the best part of 8 months now. During this time we have steadily pushed our opponents back for the first time since their inception back in 2003. You must understand, these guys are NOT used to losing. Ever. Currently we are in the process of destroying yet another one of their ‘pet’ alliances who hold space near us in our inexorable push forwards. And here, the pattern is the same as it has always been with adversaries we have faced.
Derision -> Denial -> Persistent Denial -> Implosion
I am well and truly baffled by this… It seems that all the corp and alliances we have faced follow this trend. Before this phase of the conflict, we faced Lotka Volterra who followed the same pattern. Endlessly, their leadership derided the Swarm, claimed we were nothing but a bunch of newbies in cheap ships whose only path to victory is by sheer force of numbers, exploits, crashing the server through said numbers and so forth. They will then lose a few fights and claim that they did not lose them but it was down to anything BUT pilot error/superior numbers/tactics/co-ordination. They will claim the server lagged, that their pilots were experiencing client errors or bugs. They will deny that we killed any fleets and had done any damage to them whatsoever. Then when we are at their doorstep, they are still adamant to the point of almost religious fervor that we will lose this war because we are stupid, disorganised and clearly not up to large-scale alliance warfare. Finally, comes my favourite part, the “failure cascade”. This phase is triggered by one or more of the corporations in the alliance cracking and the membership realising that they have been fed lies by their leadership and that in fact they are losing badly and are on the brink of death. This corp will then leave the alliance, citing reasong such as “we feel we need to return to our roots in Empire (NPC space) and re-form with a new vision in mind”. Suddenly it is as if the floodgates have been opened. Panic ensues as members of the other corps drop out as if the house were on fire (of course, it is on fire as we are sat outside throwing explosive mortar shells, lasers and missiles at them) and run. This pattern is predictable and recurs on a regular basis. The lesson? Opponents – take the time to explain to your members that we are not an enraged conglomerate of newbies/stupid/lack tactics and co-ordination. It saves on the embarrassment and doesn’t give me something to write about in my blog.