CEO UPDATE: What The Fuck, Seriously?
The ugly drama of the War in the North - like a bad reality TV series focusing on meth-addled incompetents in the American South, a fascinating yet cringeworthy spectacle that gives the distinct sense that you have become soiled by even watching it - has entered another shambolic phase, a phase already (in its bare first few days, no less) marked by gross political missteps, strategic indecision, and rampant paste-eating idiocy. Judging by our four mothership losses yesterday, some of that paste went down our gullets.
TEST dons the Burger King Crown, declares themselves Lords of All They Survey
When I wrote my most recent column detailing the structural problems in the Northern Coalition, I didnít anticipate having it essentially paraphrased and re-read by the new leader of TEST as an excuse to reset the North, especially not while weíre locked in a desperate defense of Tribute. Nor did I expect that paraphrasing to take place amidst a seven-minute diatribe of a speech which glossed over with an almost comically self-righteous blindness the fact that it was the Northern Coalitonís own supercapitals who took TESTís stations for them in Fountain.
A few days ago, Montolio approached me with several plans, none of which were ideal. In one, TEST would abandon all its sov, becoming Ďnomadsí and probably attacking the NC. As TEST has never had to be nomadic, they have romanticized the idea of it, unaware of how shitty schlepping your crap around the galaxy is in reality. Another plan was to simply reset the NC and pull out of the North. That seemed to be the least foolish of options, but I was surprised by the choice to give a speech and spew forth the insults it contained rather than doing a quiet 'soft reset' through normal diplomatic channels. That gained nothing for anyone; should the NC still exist in a few weeks, odds are good that they will hunger for vengeance, or an easier target to displace their rage upon than the DRF.
The NC Situation
The only thing that is truly maintaining the peace in Tribute is the fact that, perhaps fearing a future Tech nerf, no one has (yet) stepped up to drop SBUs and suffer through the atrocities of the Dominion sov system to take the damn region from Morsus Mihi. Thatís a good thing for us, since thereís no obvious way that we - or anyone - can defeat a blob of 80 supercarriers backed by 30 Titans in US Prime. Of course, as I write this, a Morsus logistics person boofed a perfectly easy timer for a critical tower in UMI, Tribute's 'second capital', so maybe the whole thing is about to cave in like a rotten melon.
I have no great love for the random guest fodder in the NC, the OWNs or the RAGEs or the high councils, low councils, democratic roleplayers or merchant empires. Once all of this nonsense is over, we are likely to be revising our standings accordingly, as we have expended a tremendous amount of effort at every level to prop up a decrepit structure that is surprisingly full of people who hate goons for being goons - perhaps because many of the modern NC leaders have BoB employment histories (Nunu Dagobah, LordDragonMPS, our dear old Yaay). Many of these entities have accreted around our friends in Morsus and Razor like barnacles on the hull of a poorly-maintained ship.
Yet say what you will about the NC as a whole, we (like Lannisters) will not forget our debts to Razor or Morsus Mihi - and we owe them for years of blood and war from Tenerifis through to Delve and back again. There will be no Ďfuck the Northí speech from me. We may have accidentally reset OWN, though. Oops!
Right now the hostile forces burning Tribute have a tremendous amount of momentum. Their pilots know that the NC (or us, yesterday!) will serve up between 1-4 supercapital killmails a day and generally flail about like spastics. The only dangerous force they've been facing of late has been our Alphafleets or NC Abaddon fleets led by Boat, and these they either avoid or drop a massive supercap blob on. Because of all the blueballs and foolishness, we're not going to be throwing our fleets into lost causes any longer. Well-timed towers we can send forces for, but we won't be cleaning up after a bedshitting such as the UMI nonsense that just occurred.
The White Noise Conspiracy That Wasnít
Where are the angry RMTing Russians at the gates of Tribute? When the assault on Morsus began, we feared that WN was intending to take over Tribute, abandon their space in the South, and set up some kind of game-breaking RMT empire - the kind which ruined Lineage 2, for example. Yet this has not come to pass. As Awagon has burned and purged their way north through White Noise territory, WN has repeatedly sent their supercapital blob home to try to defend their old territory, behavior hardly consistent with our tidy and adorably apocalyptic conspiracy theory.
The fact is, Iím not entirely sure what the hell is going on any more. So many variables have opened up in the past two weeks - amidst a nasty bout of bronchitis which Iíve had to medicate heavily with codeine cough syrup and that Whole Pesky Iceland Trip - that it's hard to tell who's doing what. Perhaps White Noise has realized (as we have) that Tech will be nerfed, probably sooner rather than later. Perhaps there never was a ~RMT Conspiracy~ though given their financial patterns I'm still of the belief that White Noise is connected heavily as a supplier to a shop. Perhaps it just doesn't make business sense to abandon their old territory if a tech nerf is going to rape the North.
Obligatory CSM Disclaimer: Our finance team has been planning for a tech nerf for months now, and we expect that the bonanza can't last more than 6 months. This has absolutely nothing to do with anything I may or may not have learned/said at the CSM Summit, and pretty much every entity which holds tech is looking at how our collective income got raped by the anom nerf and is laying in plans (all ugly) for what happens when tech can't pay our sov bills for us.
What Are You Up To, Anyway?
At a personal level, I've been swamped by space chaos and plague. These times of crisis are very exciting at a metagame level, but I've been frustrated and left angry by some of the foolishness by people On Our Side of late. We're spearheading a couple of interesting projects, such as 'Jabberlon 5', a new jabber server which every magnate in the game can participate in regardless of standings. Meanwhile, TEST might have just cut our bloc in half and the NC can't time for US Prime to literally save their lives.
On a lot of levels, it's a lot easier to be invaded yourself and work towards the defense of your own region than it is to try to help your allies, being unable to use any of the resources at your disposal or your excellent people. We have a crack logistics team, we have the largest collection of bloc-level FCs in the game, we have a tight fleet doctrine, we have the best Sky Marshal in EVE, and our hands are fucking tied. That makes me /mad/, a lot of days. I feel like we are unable to pay off our ancient debts, and not for a lack of will on our part.
Ugh. This game.