Bringing Down the Imperium: Can it be Done?

Harris Grekos 2018-12-29

Art by Smultar.

Okay, people, get your tinfoil hats on, warm up your neuralyzers, and prepare to take a rough trip down the rabbit hole.

A quick introduction might be in order, as most things in EVE only make sense when in context. So, I was a mid-level member (no special status) of Pandemic Horde for a couple of years, untill things less important than EVE (aka real life) forced me on a big break. That’s just to make sure people don’t misinterpret my background and why I’m writing this. Also, in the not-so-important real world (aka not-EVE), my work is about…well, let’s say conflict. All sorts of it. And I like my work almost as much as EVE. That’s just to state that I possibly have a slightly decent grasp of what I’m talking about.

One of the hottest topics running in Eve for the last year has been the creation of a superpower consisting of a coalition of forces under the name of the Imperium. Like every self-respecting coin, the discussion here has two sides: people argue about how it can be taken apart, and people argue about how it cannot be taken apart.

The means vary. Diplomacy; infiltration and sabotage; guerrilla warfare; economic warfare; information warfare; out-of-game attacks to the personas, the credibility, the internal structure that constitute the Imperium,; my (and probably half of the capsuleers’) favorite modus operandi: all-out warfare with as many pixels being blown to pieces as possible; and finally, as some modern strategists might suggest, hybrid warfare (which basically is a cool way to say “all of the above”).

Many have tried to apply some of these methods. Let’s not forget, a couple of years back Goons and their allies (who now constitute the main body of the Imperium) were evicted from their space up north during the WWB/Casino War. But, as recent conflicts have shown, the current Imperium is a whole different beast than the old Goonswarm, just as the current EVE is a whole different world than that two years ago.

First of all, I’d like to list the biggest “guns” the Imperium can bring to any conflict: numbers, industrial strength, a ton of supercapitals, and a pretty solid (up to now) command and control structure. All four are indisputable. They’re the biggest coalition to-date, they top the MER every month, they have more supers than any possible opponent, and they have leaders and commanders and directors that know what results they want and how to achieve them.

Any of these advantages alone wouldn’t be enough to make a coalition unassailable in EVE. Their combination, however, cranks up the difficulty level to Mount Everest. People keep asking CCP to change the game mechanics slightly in order to nerf the Imperium’s power, and at the same time Imperium’s spokespersons laugh and dare CCP to try it, claiming that any nerf will hit their enemies harder than the Imperium itself. So let’s take a look at the suggested angles of attack against the Imperium’s fortress.

People have been crying for Rorqual nerfs like crazy ever since the industrial capital ship entered the game. They also say that nerfing industry or the ISK faucets of the game would hit the Imperium’s industrial power. On the other side of the fence, Imperium members claim that such a nerf would hit their enemies as hard as them, maybe even harder. In my opinion, any universal nerf will probably hit the small fish more than the big ones. The Imperium has got the manpower and the organization to adapt to such changes faster and smoother than any small corporation, and can provide safe waters for its members much easier, whether they’re flying Rorqs or Ventures, VNIs or supercarriers.

How about nerfing the supercapitals? Well, same shit, different day, as some marines would say. If capitals and supers get nerfed, that will affect both sides of a conflict. Add to that the fact that the Imperium can probably field more sub-caps than any other coalition due to its available manpower and one can probably assume that the more caps and supers get nerfed, the more the Imperium gains the advantage. Right now, the n+10 tactic works in every fight in nullsec, as long as you’re willing to take some casualties and submit oneself to the horrors of 1% TIDI.

How about applying the nerf bat only to big coalitions? Whoa there fella, you’re beginning to swim in perilous waters! Two major problems arise just from the wording. What is “big” in EVE? Which is the magical number that a corporation/coalition has to reach to become “medium” from “small” and “big” from “medium”? Even worse, let’s remember that EVE is trying its damnedest to be a true sandbox. If you start applying rules that constrict freedom of choice, that say anyone’s sand castle can only be “this big”, you start eroding the concept of “true sandbox”. And trust me, people play EVE exactly because it IS a sandbox.

As for diplomacy, well, that’s a different story. The Imperium has proven that it can outmaneuver its opponents in that field and come on top with shocking results. CO2 can attest to that. So how do you attack the Imperium’s might and win? Easy. You don’t. Uhm…that doesn’t sound right. What I meant to say is, you don’t attack the Imperium per-se. If people want to join the Imperium, they will. If the Imperium’s directors/leaders/commanders continue to be better at what they do than their counterparts, they’ll keep winning. And it doesn’t really matter if X coalition is 10% better in PvP than the Imperium (in EVE math, a 10% advantage usually means the other guy is screwed); quantity has a quality of its own. If the Imperium can field significantly larger numbers of the same ship, they will have the advantage, regardless of the skill of their opponents.

So, is EVE going to turn into an Imperium lake (anyone that got the reference to old Rome gets a +1 in History)? Well, it depends. Can something be done about it and not destroy the sandbox character of the game? Well, it depends. Play EVE long enough and you’ll learn that “it depends” is the most common answer to any question.

The only one that can mitigate (not completely destroy) the strength of the Imperium is CCP, and nothing can really be done about how well the Imperium is organized, directed and represented. That has very little to do with the game and very much to do with the people themselves. Even though I consider myself a “grrrGoons” person, I have to applaud how well they managed to pick themselves up after WWB/Casino war and adapt to the new EVE. But the two things that can be disrupted is the Imperium’s industrial and quantitative strength.

At the moment, the Imperium is basically self-sustaining. It can produce almost everything it needs right in Delve, from minerals to high-end wormhole materials. It still uses Jita, but only because the market hub is profitable. To change this, CCP would have to overhaul the whole industrial section of the game. Basically, they would have to rearrange minerals all over EVE, giving every region access to only a specific type of resource. At the same time, they would have to change the way ships are built, requiring a wider variety of minerals per ship, without a distinction between “rare” and “common” ones. To give an example, Delve would only produce tritanium, while Domain only mexallon, but to build any ship you would need 33% tritanium, 33% mexallon and 33% megacyte, found in Scalding Pass. That is a very basic example; one could probably stack the deck more or less depending on ship races, types, tiers etc., but you get the general picture. We actually have that happening right now with rat loot. The result would be that any area over-exploited (like Delve in the present), would cause the price of its resources to drop, which would lessen the true industrial strength of the coalition doing the over-exploitation. Smaller corporations would see more buck for their ISK, making it less easy for the big sharks to dominate the market. If you want any real-world examples, look at oil. It is limited to small areas on the globe and the more it is mined, the more its price drops.

Still, I wouldn’t expect the Imperium to die overnight. Its industrial tower might be taken down a peg or two, but EVE players have proven time and again to be resourceful, imaginative and original, out-of-the-box thinkers. The Imperium would be able to manipulate prices due to the huge reserves it already has, until it found a way to control more areas (renting comes to mind). Or it would favor doctrines that supported its own resources (in example ships that used more tritanium in their construction).

The second pillar of the Imperium’s temple that can be attacked is its military strength-of-numbers. And if you think that the reallocation of resources all around EVE would be difficult, wait til you hear this. At the moment, The Imperium has the mightiest supercapital fleet around. No buts, no discussion. No one can field bigger numbers or somehow outmaneuver it. Every fight comes down to either attrition (and Goons have proven time and again that they can and are willing to take the losses), or a siege of sorts, trying to keep cyno inhibitors up and running. What could change this is the super-evolution of the game engine and server hardware. For example, a Machariel fleet could (in theory) warp in extreme range of the support wing of the supercap fleet, sniper a couple of FAXes and warp off before Goon supers can lock or fire their doomsdays. Combine that with bombing runs, rinse and repeat, and you have a smallish force chipping away at the big guns. That is a tactic that in a perfect world would require very good coordination and extremely disciplined capsuleers behind the keyboards. But we aren’t living in a perfect world, are we? Add in TIDI and all the beautiful problems that rear their heads when the field is filled with more than a few thousand ships (modules not working properly, fleet warps not going through, sockets closing, clients dying, you know, the usual), and the small, nimble fleet of Machariels will die really fast to a couple of DDs.

But one shouldn’t get carried away too much. The Imperium probably has just as good fleet commanders as its opposing forces, just as good cap and sub cap pilots as any other force. New doctrines would evolve to counter such tactics. Such a change wouldn’t make it impossible for the Imperium to win fights, it would only give smaller fish with “better skills” a chance against the huge super-blob.

So what’s the purpose of this story? Well, time to take the tinfoil hats off. First off, people screaming to the top of their lungs that CCP must do something to stop the Imperium from becoming the only superpower in EVE need to think about what they’re saying. CCP didn’t make the Imperium a superpower, and it sure as hell can’t unmake it. Its leaders did, its directors did, and its commanders did. As long as EVE remains a sandbox, people can make of it what they want, including becoming a superpower. Steps could be taken to level the decks a bit more, but don’t expect EVE players to take the changes sitting on their thumbs. Capsuleers will see the changes, assess their impact and adapt their play style, all the way kicking and screaming about CCP “ruining their game”, while making profits and blowing up space pixels.

What players should be doing is asking about meaningful changes in the game. A better-written code instead of new skins (really, were citadel skins what the game was missing?). An economic system and a resource allotment that will allow neither monopolies nor over exploitation nor isolationism. A better security team that will do a better job finding and killing bots in-game.

Now, time to put my sunglasses on and fire that neuralyzer.

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Comments

  • Seraph IX Basarab

    Another “haha don’t nerf rorqs/industry/krabbing guys cause it’ll totally hurt you guys more so pls don’t do it!” article.

    Relevant passage:

    Some are quick to use the “Malcanis Law” which states “Whenever a mechanics change is proposed on behalf of ‘new players’ that change is always to the overwhelming advantage of richer, older players.” The term “law” is a bit presumptuous considering this is nonsense. I can give you plenty of examples where this is not the case. If you delete supercaps from the game, this will not hurt newer players one bit. If we delete Forts and Keepstars, this hurts newer players how? I’m not suggesting that we do any of those things but it’s very easy to see how easily the “law” is broken. It should probably be known as a “consideration” instead of a “law.” As in, “We should consider the possibility that this new change intended for helping newer players may instead benefit older richer players.” Fair enough. The reason I’m even knit picking over this is because a modified version of this rule is used by the usual propagandists over at INN. This version goes like this: “Whatever change is suggested in order to ‘nerf Goons’ actually benefits them instead.” The specific quote itself is, “Aryth loves to be right and to be seen as right. Time and again he has said, “Yeah, nerf Rorquals as it only helps The Imperium further.” In this he’s not wrong. For alliances with less industrial might, such a change to Rorquals would only serve to further the gap between those who have and those who have not.”

    Either Aryth is trying to play some kind of reverse psychology game or he’s ignorant of Price’s Law which seems to be related to the Pareto principle. Price’s Law states that the square-root of the number of people in a domain do 50% of the work. If your corp has 10 people in it, half of the work is done by 3 of them. 100 members? 10 of them do 50% of the work. 10,000? 100 of them do 50% of the work. What this essentially means is that you get diminishing returns depending on how many people you have. Incompetence grows exponentially while competence grows linearly. The idea that “whatever hurts Goons hurts you guys more” or better said “whatever hurts big alliances hurts smaller alliances too” is nonsense. Larger groups are simply not going to have the same per capita efficiency as smaller groups. If anything one could argue that strong Rorquals make even your double digit IQ members artificially more useful and actually acts as a buffer against Price’s Law. In any case I’m not calling for a further Rorq nerf. The previous suggestions would be beneficial however. The point is simply to dispel this myth of “what hurts big groups hurts smaller groups more.”

    December 29, 2018 at 11:06 am
  • Bob

    Only way to nerf any big alliance is making them spread out. Making 3 people per system again instead of 100. Which would make the game very shit again.

    December 29, 2018 at 11:42 am
  • Clusterfuck turning into Imperium and Imperium growing as strong as it is now is a consequence of many bad decissions made in the past by its “enemies”, my alliance included. The change to rorquals just accelerated the progress, but it would have happened sooner or later anyway.
    Imps are not the ones to blame. They grown bigger, they have economic advantage Yet there is a slight vulnerability they havent noticed (or did, but dont give a shit) and it can be exploited eventually, as it was in WWB, but its very unlikely.

    December 29, 2018 at 12:46 pm
    • Eli waltari

      We held the north for 6 years. Before that, up until 2007 we were the underdogs fighting against SuperBob. What’s changed this time around? Imperium has learnt to fight. Skill injectors helped us catch up to PL’s skill levels. Casino war taught us how to fight outnumbered. Our main weakness, if anyone hadn’t noticed, is we’re a reactive alliance (unless your PanFam, in which case, you’re a target). Any other alliance who doesn’t go all out and attack us, can pretty much build as they choose. It’s not likely we’re going to go all out and kill them. Staying out of the big fish’s way is probably the best strategy. A shark typically follows the same hunting grounds. Those not in those hunting grounds, will thrive.

      December 29, 2018 at 1:11 pm
    • Havish Montak waltari

      Casino War!!!! Woop. This is you saying that the only way to beat the Imperium is by PLEX. Nuf said.

      December 29, 2018 at 2:35 pm
  • J Moravia

    I know the author was not necessarily saying that having each region produce one type of ore was a good idea (merely that it was one idea), but I want to make sure all the readers know why it would be an absolutely awful idea, for two primary reasons.

    The first reason is that Goons keep to ourselves in Delve. As the largest and most powerful alliance that EVE has ever known, the greatest gift we give to the rest of the game is that we rarely leave our home. We don’t throw our might around all the time just for the fun of it. We’re not, for example, Fraternity, sprawled across parts of four or five different regions. The worst move CCP could possibly make, then, is one that prevents us from simply minding our own business in Delve, one that forces us to project our power all across the map in order to acquire different kinds of ore.

    The second is that such a move would, as the article frequently points out, harm Goons’ enemies worse than Goons themselves. Let’s say you could only get Tritanium from the southwest, from Imperium and Legacy territory. Can you imagine what would have happened if Imperial Legacy went to war against NCPL last summer and NCPL suddenly lost access to Tritanium to build new ships? Being outnumbered is bad enough, but being utterly unable to replace lost ships because you need material you can only get from your enemies’ territory? That would clearly give an advantage to whoever begins such a war with a larger fleet – Goons – and clearly disadvantage whoever begins with a smaller fleet – everyone else in EVE. It would also lead to fewer fights; why would anyone risk fighting while outnumbered if they knew they couldn’t replace their losses? The Goons could effectively win every single war just by showing up on the field in massive numbers, since the defenders would not want to undock.

    December 29, 2018 at 1:27 pm
    • Guilford Australis J Moravia

      Yes, this point is well made. The “Elite PVP” alliances of old used their position of dominance to throw their supercapitals all over nullsec, bulldozing alliances left and right just for fun. But GSF, which generally stays near Delve and gets its jollies from skirmishing with TEST and Brave, is an unprecedented crisis for the stability of nullsec?

      December 29, 2018 at 2:53 pm
      • Havish Montak Guilford Australis

        Truth. That is why I hate NC and PL. They were the bullies who now get spanked.

        December 29, 2018 at 3:08 pm
    • CarlGustav J Moravia

      Your missions the point in trying to hit just delve will hurt all of Eve.

      Relocate minerals well then goons can uproot and move north sure they lose rigs but it’s a price that can be calculated and prepared for.

      Relocate Bloodraidera from delve. Well same will happen.

      And with the new jump gates we can have a deployment highway as we had before the jump nerf.

      The best way to promote conflict would be jump modules for citadels, and a flexible security of systems. Where depletion of security down to 0.0 (waste) and In unused system the security decrease slowly down to -1.0

      This would lead to locust thinking with periodic moving to greener pastures. (And force botters out of there endpipe systems).

      Jumping a citadel should be to put up a beacon for it and let citadel spool for a week then jump (unrestricted length). As long as you put a restriction on number of beacons in system at once it’s fine. Then a defender can kill beacons prevents citadel to jump.

      If ccp wants to promote

      December 29, 2018 at 7:15 pm
  • Guilford Australis

    It’s fine to spitball scenarios in which smaller alliances could conceivably erode the influence of The Imperium. Indeed, The Imperium’s competitors and adversaries seem to spend a lot of time doing this. But I don’t see this kind of theory-crafting translate into any actual in-game actions in opposition to GSF/Imperium. As the author notes, PVP in an asymmetric warfare scenario is hard, while hyperventilating at CCP to “NURF GOONS” is easy. However, history indicates that CCP generally declines to fight power struggles on behalf of alliances that can’t be pressured to do the hard work for themselves.

    Is it a bad thing for EVE that Goonswarm Federation and its broader coalition are currently the dominant power? None of the “NURF GOONS” crowd ever bothers to contend with this question. Let’s pretend CCP nerfs Rorquals, Industry, sovereignty mechanics, or whatever, and that these nerfs weaken The Imperium to the point that the former Elite PVP alliances (PanFam and the PanFam expats in V0lta and Skill Urself) begin to dominate again. Now PanFam is on top of the pile. Is that better for EVE than the current situation? What, precisely, is the crisis that The Imperium’s current dominance is supposedly creating for EVE?

    No entity in EVE is untouchable, and no empire lasts forever – these are realities that The Imperium understands and that its adversaries would do well to remind themselves. History didn’t begin with the Casino War. Back when all of EVE said Band of Brothers was unassailable, Goonswarm joined forces with Pandemic Legion (such a thing is nearly impossible to imagine now) to eradicate them through protracted conventional warfare and high-level espionage. It was a long, brutal campaign – and you can bet CCP wasn’t sitting around cooking up strategic nerfs to weaken BOB for us.

    December 29, 2018 at 2:44 pm
  • Alot

    I don’t see an issue with the current state of affairs. If one wanted to hinder large entities however, I feel the way to do it would be to introduce maintenance costs to the largest and most powerful assets in game and possibly to introduce artificial caps on quality of life things like marking allies as blue for the sole purpose of making large scale diplomacy and logistics harder as commitments got more complex (aka, needlessly screwing with the competent).

    If supercap fleets are the most powerful assets which can be employed in war, make the hull cheaper and put a majority of their price into a ridiculously expensive fuel cell which takes a month to craft and only lasts a few months after that. This would mean that maintaining a permanent supercap fleet would be an enormous, continuous drain on the hosting alliance while smaller alliances would have the option of forgoing them and only constructing the fuel cells for a period in which they plan to use supers. This wouldn’t make eve a level playing field, it would just put a price tag on the ability to project unit of power per unit time. I dont think its a good idea to mess with people who spent years training the skill sets to fly the things, I just feel would be a change which would favour the small over the large.

    The other concept would be to cut off in game support for managing alliances and corps over a certain size. Its a silly thing to do but see what happens to the reflexes of large organisations when they cannot visually indicate to the line men who they allowed to shoot and who’s allowed to dock without manual officer intervention. Processes slow down, tempers get raised, paper trails get iffy, staplers get thrown against walls.

    Wouldn’t suggest doing either of these things but I think they’d have the desired effects in narrow scope of the articles issues.

    December 29, 2018 at 2:49 pm
  • Havish Montak

    In regards to minerals. We’d get them from high and low sec if needed. Locust fleet anyone? Jump clone procurer ops on alphas?

    In regards to supers and titans. During the battle of the X47 keepstar, Imperium had fewer titans and supers on grid. The hostiles were safe if they failed to DD volley a hostile titan. IE. You fire and fail to kill your target, have a free tether. You killed your target; well done you’ve thethered again already thanks to TIDI before anything can tackle you that is a concern. (The failed DD non aggression issue was fixed very quickly after the fight though.) Titan losses were almost equal in that fight and a high proportion were from DCs, I can’t recall even 1 DC being for the Imperium. The structure timer was a rout.

    You saw in the last campaign hostiles flipping sides or being “bought off” easily. This shows that PANFAM/GOTG leadership was not particulary effective if this could be carried out almost daily. Thanks Kunmi for the war report and the update pings.

    So my point being, most people in the Imperium are competant at things, we will continue to be that and press the competancy to everyone. I hear that is not the way of our enemies and that means stagnation which results in defeat. The enemy will defeat themselves. Look how they turned on each other after the Imperium Legacy campaign. It’s not a question of if Goons will fail but how long will EvE last?

    December 29, 2018 at 3:04 pm
  • Lrrp

    Not mentioned directly but perhaps one of the biggest is treachery from within. When my previous corp was part of Morsus Mihi, we lived in what was then termed “Fortress Tribute”. When we were forced out it wasn’t because we didn’t want to fight, we were fleeted up and ready with I believe goons coming to lend a hand. Next thing we knew we were told to stand down and start a evac procedure. Why? Because alliance leadership (Vuc Lau?) decided saving some super caps in build was more important than fighting. So
    as it turned we lost Trib without a shot being fired but we were murdered by the stoke of a pen.

    December 29, 2018 at 3:17 pm
    • phuzz Lrrp

      If I had to guess a way for the Imperium to fall, this would be it. Some kind of internal strife.

      December 31, 2018 at 12:23 pm
      • Urziel99 phuzz

        Historically it’s the only way. Anyone remember Kartoon?

        January 6, 2019 at 12:32 am
  • Alexandre Vivo Rodrigues

    Eve is becoming boring. The PvP is what makes EVE interesting, as PVE is far more boring and worse than other MMOs, but the fun content is becoming limited.
    CO2, one of the few crazy content provider alliances is gone. And if any other alliance decides to follow a similar path – no diplomacy, lets explode things attitude – they will see the same end of CO2.
    Any fight becomes soon a “no-fight” when Goons field 3 fleets. Basically the game is becoming a fight between 2-3 main groups, with some stunts. And, if goons decide to really be offensive against any other power, they win easily.
    The fun content now is basically small gang fights, in my opinion (which does not reflect EVE’s opinion), as alliance fleets are basically one side feeding the other with more numbers or just running away.
    Capital fights are jokes in TiDi, with some dread bombs being the exception.
    I am not sure about the overall health of the game in the long term. It would be interesting to see some statistics about new players (not new chars), and how long new players stay. Hopefully the game will find a way to become a balanced place again, with relevant content.

    December 29, 2018 at 3:48 pm
    • Guilford Australis Alexandre Vivo Rodrigues

      I can’t speak to ancient history, having only been in Goonswarm for about 10 months. But the alliance’s participation metrics show I’ve averaged 16 fleets a month during that time, so I’ve seen a broad cross-section of alliance activities. Outside of strategic objectives during wartime, I have never witnessed the behavior you describe. If you glance at my killboard, you’ll see many fights deep in hostile space where Goons brought 20-40 pilots to take on all comers. We sometimes respond in kind when others escalate, but we generally form in numbers and doctrines comparable to what we expect from our competitors. This notion that because we are numerous we”ll simply overwhelm any challenge doesn’t reflect reality.

      People will, predictably, point to the northern campaign against GOTG and Co2 as a counter-example, as well as the recent destruction of Hard Knocks’ Keepstar by approximately 1,400 INIT and Imperium pilots. In the first case, we exacted vengeance on traitors and enablers for their activities during the Casino War – as we promised to do; they have only themselves to blame for not taking our word seriously. As for the Keepstar, INIT was warned that HK would muster all of J-space to defend it and had every reason to believe they were flying into a massive ball of resistance. The fact that the reputation of HK and their wormhole allies did not reflect their actual capabilities isn’t the fault of INIT or The Imperium.

      Ultimately, EVE is a social game and people associate with whomever they want. Many, many people choose to associate with Goonswarm because they like the experience and want to see the alliance’s values become more influential. As I’ve attempted to demonstrate here (and in a couple comments below), those values are far more tolerant than the haters will ever admit. And – for the haters’ sake as well as my own – I hope that certain other alliances who promote very different values never climb to the top of the pile.

      December 29, 2018 at 6:15 pm
    • “3 fleets” You’re describing a goon response to a strategic fight, who wouldn’t bring everything they can to a fight over a strategic asset? The typical goon pvp roam can be as many as 150 or as few as 20-30. Contrary yo popular rumor we do not frequently roam in 250 man ferox fleets murdering everything we find.

      December 29, 2018 at 8:10 pm
    • “3 fleets” You’re describing a goon response to a strategic fight, who
      wouldn’t bring everything they can to a fight over a strategic asset?
      The typical goon pvp roam can be as many as 150 or as few as 20-30.
      Contrary to popular rumor we do not frequently roam in 250 man ferox
      fleets murdering everything we find.

      December 29, 2018 at 8:11 pm
  • Alaric Faelen

    Well written.

    Most people are really uncreative. Rather than cling to a status quo of several years ago, the game needs to transition based on the realities in game now. CCP needs to stop looking back and road map looking forward. Players need to make predictions on where the game is going and act on it. This is exactly why the Imperium became an economic powerhouse while our enemies were still beating the dead horse of rental empires. They have the same access to massive resources, they simply failed to capitalize on them given the new game mechanics. Don’t blame the Imperium for other people’s failings. Rest assured pretty much everyone is now just copying our formula. So while we might be bigger because we got in on the action sooner- everyone is essentially doing the same thing now. Remove us and it’s just a matter of same situation just a different face on it.

    IMO, the game should fundamentally change to reflect the situation happening in game. That is- a recreation of the collapse of European colonialism. At this point the forever-wars between the Empires is just silly. Even ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ the war (all possible space to one side) means absolutely nothing to the larger game.

    The threat from the colonies is vastly greater and the game should reflect this by pivoting FW to aim at null sec. Conflict between the two biggest PvP groups, and incentivize high sec to pick up the sword, if only to make the farming better back home.
    The Loyalists vastly outnumber the Colonists, but we out on the frontier have spent a lifetime in battle and blood. We are united and organized.
    The challenge would be to make low and even high sec have a common enemy, and common goal. The map is then a classic landscape of two fairly secure home spaces with a no-man’s land of death and destruction (low sec) in between. I believe that would kill many birds with one stone as far as usage of the various security sectors goes.
    Further, link high sec services to what happens in the war zone (which should already be done for FW but isn’t), so that your average care bear….cares what happens and is incentivized to maybe join the fight himself.

    That is probably the only way to really dismantle the null sec empires. Last time it took casino money buying off half the game to attack the CFC. THAT worked but was cheating. But organizing the unwashed masses CAN be done if the incentive is there. We’ve seen it. CCP just needs to make that happen within the structure of the game.
    The divide between high sec and null sec is basically the only real dividing line in the game that anyone cares about. What race you are doesn’t matter, the space you live in doesn’t really matter. People are fanatically pro NPC empire (high and low sec), or fanatically pro Null sec. So why not put them in a kiddie pool full of jello and baby oil and see what happens?

    December 29, 2018 at 8:10 pm
    • General Thade Alaric Faelen

      Wormholer BTW

      January 1, 2019 at 12:15 am
      • Alaric Faelen General Thade

        W-space is another region of New Eden that is painfully under-utilized. While I’m sure wormholers prefer the quiet of their niche lifestyle, W-space brings interesting mechanics and enemies that many players just never experience.

        Although at this point, I think most people are afraid of the day that CCP finally ‘fixes’ sov null and turn their attention to other areas of the game.

        While the entire game has stagnated because CCP has spent years trying to polish the turd of FozzieSov, it must be terrifying to think CCP might come and screw up whatever part of the game you are into.

        January 1, 2019 at 4:12 pm
  • Xa1n

    Dear writer in answer to your question. Yes.
    However to do so would remove the biggest loot piñata in EVE. Goons used to loathe the pubbies of hisec and celebrate this fact by their annual celebration called ‘Burn Jita’.
    Goons are a celebratory alliance praising their achievements within their ranks. They invented a term coined a ‘Delve Hour’ to celebrate how much isk value is generated by mining throughout the Delve region.
    While no longer a proven PvP alliance they have indeed become the largest carebear alliance in EVE history.
    Their achievements in Delve will not be remembered for all the mining they have done. Rather Delve will be remembered for all the firesales, unanchoring Citadels and for an alliance that farmed itself out of existence.

    December 30, 2018 at 7:05 am
    • J Moravia Xa1n

      Alexa, show me what wishful thinking looks like.

      December 30, 2018 at 11:42 am
      • Xa1n J Moravia

        Time will tell, not Alexa.

        January 6, 2019 at 1:05 am
    • Guilford Australis Xa1n

      I’m not sure whether to read this comment as satire or alternate history. If, as is hardly conceivable, you intended it in seriousness, I must point out a small gap in your logical sequence:

      Step 1: Goonswarm is the undisputed military and industrial superpower in EVE
      Step 2: ????
      Step 3: Goonswarm ceases to exist and Delve is but a memory.

      This kind of magical thinking is exactly what the article (written by a self-professed former Horde member and enemy of GSF) criticizes and attempts to correct. Maybe you should read it.

      December 30, 2018 at 1:27 pm
      • The magic will happen, 2019 will not be a good year for Goonswarm Federation.

        January 6, 2019 at 12:58 am
        • Guilford Australis Xa1n

          Priceless. Equal parts third-grade playground (“Yeah, well, something really bad is going to happen to you. So bad that I can’t even tell you what it is”) and fortune-cookie sophistry (“You are in grave danger”). Somehow – if you can believe this – I do not find your predictions to be spectacularly credible.

          January 6, 2019 at 4:44 pm
    • Carvj94 Xa1n

      No longer a proven PvP alliance? Didn’t they just curbstomp the second biggest coalition and break them up not even half a year ago? Seems like you don’t understand the value of industry and are laughing at goons for mining even though it’s essential for all nullsec entities

      December 30, 2018 at 6:07 pm
      • Xa1n Carvj94

        Mining 24/7 is not industry but greed.

        January 6, 2019 at 12:57 am
    • Vertigoe Xa1n

      you sir are an idiot

      December 30, 2018 at 7:43 pm
    • Garreth Vlox Xa1n

      “While no longer a proven PvP alliance they have indeed become the largest carebear alliance in EVE history.” 4 dead keepstars in 12 hours because the people they were fighting wouldn’t even undock to contest them after their previous beatings says otherwise

      December 30, 2018 at 10:52 pm
      • Keepstars on their own are defenceless.

        January 6, 2019 at 12:57 am
    • Carvj94 Xa1n

      So your saying that having near functionally infinite resources and more manpower than everyone else in the game will be the Imperiums downfall?

      December 31, 2018 at 2:18 pm
      • Xa1n Carvj94

        Yes obesity is not good for your health.

        January 6, 2019 at 12:55 am
  • Jacob Hawkes

    If players were at all serious about beating goons they would do the same thing goons did in the casino war. The same thing a krab or a carebear knows to do to avoid getting ganked. Deny them content. Dock up. Everyone knows the type of player I’m targeting here. “Anyone have any hulls” he’s incapable of doing anything besides blowing up player ships. Without pvp content he withers and dies.

    The type of player who enjoys undocking his rorqual and eating an asteroid anomaly or two needs to know that player is pointed elsewhere.

    The guy who gets sprung from his ratting tick sizes, the kind who won’t chase down an escalation, freaks out when he has to dock up. He needs that type of player pointed elsewhere too.

    Starve the jackal types, and the imperium eats itself. They already won any other type of conflict. They are the best at everything. They control industry, ratting, all the space they’ve set their eyes on. They’ve even proven capable of reaching into the depths of wormhole space and crushing a keepstar. Like any other empire in the history of man they haven’t mastered peace. Give it to them until their eyes bleed.

    As for ccp they need to enter antitrust negotiations with the imperium. Try to get em to loosen their grip on the game. Some good threat points:

    1. Blue loot from ratting, no instant bounty ticks means no easy pinches of salt to the corporate kitty.
    2. Alliance sizes
    3. No more compressed ore
    4. Anomaly generators in ihubs.

    As an aside, ccp should declare cloaky camping an exploitive behavior, and bannable. Put the line where you want, it’s basically risk free minus fun for the other side, with a big plus of content generation for your side if you pay attention to em.

    December 30, 2018 at 8:41 pm
  • Vladimir Korff

    One thing that I couldn’t find in this article is why people wanted to take apart Imperium. To me, “why” is the main question, and “how” is a secondary one. As they say, where there is a will, there is a way. So what reasons, what will do people have to bring Imperium down?

    To clarify, I don’t know any background for this article. If this has already been discussed elsewhere, any references will be appreciated.

    December 31, 2018 at 1:01 am
    • Guilford Australis Vladimir Korff

      Indeed. I spend a lot of time in my real-life job sitting through meetings that are intended to address perceived problems for the organization. I’d estimate fewer than half of the ‘problems’ we investigate turn out to be actual, honest-to-God problems. It’s on the panicky doofuses of EVE to explain how The Imperium’s current position is creating a crisis for them.

      December 31, 2018 at 9:37 pm
  • General Thade

    At this point the imperium is to big to destroy in a conventional war. You need to do gorilla attacks, or get goon groups to turn on the greater whole and start a civil war. From my time in goons I would argue that a massive portion of the population are krabs. Get rid of their income, or make them lose too much, and they will quit.

    January 1, 2019 at 12:35 am
    • Matt Critchley General Thade

      Gorilla attacks… brilliant.

      January 1, 2019 at 11:16 am
      • Guilford Australis Matt Critchley

        We all know what he meant. Though… gorilla attacks sound terrifying.

        January 1, 2019 at 7:57 pm
  • Jack Jim Jones

    Interesting post. Way back, like 10 years ago or so, I suggested on the Eve forums resource types should wax and wane in regions in a similar way to PI (Pee Pee?) – you know, they basically have a plasma generating algorithm with a time t parameter, between 0 and 1. It changes over time. Sometimes you’ve got next to nothing in your region, other times it’s rich and bountiful.

    There are three objections to this as a useful game mechanic: (1) you can wait for t to cycle back around to you again, as it inevitably will and (2) you can use your huge supercap umbrella to run locust fleets to wherever t is bountiful, as we currently do in Querious. So I don’t think it would make a huge difference to the meta. Finally (3), I imagine people would sub and unsub dependent upon the current status of t in their home region. This would be bad for CCP. This is why I don’t think it’s going to happen.

    January 2, 2019 at 10:59 am
  • Lugburz

    rorqs just need to have it made so if you panic mode you cant light cyno; true in an age of alts this doesnt present an issue but at least any cyno is either slow to arrive or easier to kill (honestly an invulnerable cyno wtaf ccp)
    and anoms need changing, id dearly love to see some other ships in eve when roaming, with active players… not just vni bots…
    also, a reduction in anomalies in all but the most ratted systems – its just not needed.
    And how about we get rare cases where rat capitals warp to gates? we had ceptors nullification taken away to increase roaming risk but what about camping risk?

    January 13, 2019 at 2:42 am