Art by Major Sniper
In the Imperium we see all sorts of players with varying commitment to the empire. They range from fair-weather friends who just wear the tag for access to Delve’s limitless wealth to the bittervet lifers enthroned high in their Titan ship cockpit, living for the next call to action for the glory of Goondom. There are the Goons whose consistent leadership has made them synonymous with the empire itself, such as The Mittani, Aryth, Merkelchen, Asher Elias, Jay Amazingness, Innominate, Kilgarth and the ever colorful Dabigredboat. There are also the goon heroes like Hypnotoad who go to great lengths to inspire the rank and file with their selfless actions to support the Goon cause (there’s actually more than I could possibly name here).
I’m probably somewhere in the middle. I joined Goons a year ago after following the meta-game for many months. As is common, I had tried and quit Eve a handful of times over the years and never really found my place in space until joining Karmafleet. I hesitated to join this mega-corporation fearing it would be too impersonal, that I’d never see the same person online twice due to the massive player base. But to my relief, I’ve actually discovered a tightly knit community of players where a person can belong as much as they choose to belong. At first, I made every mistake a new Eve player could make short of flying my PLEX around in a shuttle. With some effort and the help of Goonversity, I came up to speed and was soon flying on strategic ops fleets in newbee frigates.
Eve Online isn’t perfect, but it is the best immersive sandbox MMO for uniquely handling character advancement. The skill system, however, can sometimes leave newer players twiddling their thumbs on the sidelines due to the lack of skill points. It didn’t take me long to shift my Eve focus to making ISK, putting on hold my ambitions to fly fancy PvP ships in glorious battles. Each different fleet doctrine I wanted to get into was weeks and weeks of training. So I started researching ways to get massive amounts of ISK without having massive skill points. I researched, I schemed, I made dozens of spreadsheets with mock scenarios until I found something in Goons that I could do to make consistently large sums of ISK (you’ll have to join Goons to find out exactly what that was, this isn’t a tutorial article after all).
One of my schemes along the way was to make a skill injector farm with dozens of Alpha accounts to take advantage of a little known, now extinct, game mechanic that went away in the December Alpha patch (no, it wasn’t ghost training). So I found myself last week sitting on my mountain of ISK (more of a hill really, by Goon standards), ready to buy a couple of Titans to fly around with my space tribe, when the CSM 13 voting started. The Imperium put up a very ambitious slate hoping to elect 4 goons to the CSM, having elected only 2 in the prior CSM 12 election. Goons are my people now. It’s truly like family. There are the family members you love as well as the ones you tolerate because they are family. Naturally I want my team to win and I found myself in the position to possibly make a difference for my team. That SP farm scheme I had all but forgotten about was ripe with dozens of max SP Alpha characters and I had billions of ISK on hand. I calculated that I could PLEX those Alpha accounts for 30 days, extract the skill points and come out just about even after selling the skill injectors.
Monday of election week I started buying PLEX and converting Alpha accounts to Omega. 11 votes for the Imperium CSM slate. Then Wednesday, up to 27. I liquidated more assets to buy plex. Thursday, up to 61 votes now. I was beginning to feel like the gambling addict who had just mortgaged his house to keep up his addiction. Ok, let’s go all in short of selling the caps and supers. Friday, more assets converted to PLEX. 27 more omegas. That night I reached 88 Omega accounts, over 130 billion isk spent voting the Imperium slate.
Will it make a difference? We will all find out soon.