EDITORS NOTE: This piece was submitted to us by a user before the events of Wednesday night, where CO2 evacuated supers from Tribute.
Looking back down the road.
It would be wrong to dwell on all the “he said” “she said” moments leading up to the current situation that Co2 now face, but it is important to cover some of the more influential actions in their not so recent past. For the sake of brevity a great deal of a truly interesting story for several of the null sec player factions has been condensed or omitted completely. This has been done only that we can quickly frame the story so far with a view to looking ahead.
Co2 lived very comfortably within The Imperium for a long time. This is proven only too well by their growth. If they did not have an environment and space to grow in then that would not have been the case. Now if you want to attribute this success to the fine leadership style of Gigx then so be it. But it cannot be denied that Co2 benefited greatly from being a member of The Imperium.
Agent provocateurs of the Casinos were already at play back in November 2015. Co2 have implied at least that this fact was passed on to The Imperium diplomats as should only be rightly the case of a good friend. This is a view not shared by The Imperium.
With over 50 alliances forming the MBC/CFC 2.0, it was only too evident to The Imperium that their normal N+1 strategy was not going to work. The call for all to base from Saranen went out. This call was not heeded by some at all, Co2 being one of these.
The battle that set The Imperium’s strategy for weathering the MBC/CFC 2.0 storm was held in M-O. After a 9 hour form up and engagement Co2 announced that they would be resetting all other members of The Imperium in 20 minutes time. Such short notice being given was considered to be unusual at best.
This act on the part of Co2 was applauded by the MBC/CFC 2.0 and they were showered with the dirty ISK of the now banned IWI owners. They were heralded as a strong independent alliance that had seen the light and turned to the good side.
So with The Imperium building a new home in Delve and the MBC/CFC 2.0 having “gud fites” in their manufactured hug box a certain sort of peace settled over null.
Co2 flipping allowed them to retain Tribute where they continued to play the hurt party. Constructing a Keepstar in their capital system of M-O was a sign of not only their intent to stay but also one of perceived safety.
A certain type of peace settled across much of null. For those wanting the shakes that come with large scale battles, that only null sec can truly offer, there is only one thing worse than war itself, and that is peace.
The Foundations of a New War
As with any conflict the real reasons for a war are rarely truly apparent when it is under way. It is only afterwards that “a truth” gains traction and credibility. There are a number of plot devices here that could easily explain the move against Co2. Was it that they are considered to be untrustworthy allies? Is it the continued hunger of Co2 for sources of ISK? Was it to simply place PH next to Test in order for PH to develop? Perhaps it was through the utter failure of Co2 diplomats? With POSs due to be removed from the game could it even be a way for PL to secure new streams of income? Could it even be as simple as some real world slight against someone’s partner? Only time will tell, but it does make for interesting speculation.
However, it is very likely that some of the above will be cited in the future as being cause for the war against Co2. One can only hope that there will be other additions to the narrative as the stories in Eve are often complex beasts. With so many rich stories to tell in Eve it really is a surprise that there are not more books or films about the exploits of its player base.
The Current State of the State of Co2
Although relations between Co2 and their main ally Test are still seemingly healthy enough there can be little doubt that they are becoming more strained. With Test less willing to commit assets due to interesting tactical decisions by Co2 as well as the doctrines they fly this is probably prudent on the part of Test. This was especially evident after the battle of SH1 and the greater commitment being shown from PL of late.
Despite a rousing alliance meeting in which Gigx declared that they are taking back Tribute slowly but surely, the events of the last week have made those words look like hollow propaganda from a leader losing control.
The hostile entities that Co2 now face are becoming more mocking as they did against The Imperium. This is mainly in part to the types of engagements that Co2 are willing to take and the fleets that they field for them.
There is still much praise being shown for Co2 and Test from some parties. Some of this is likely to be genuine although there has been speculation that this praise is simply to nudge Co2 into a single glorious battle. A battle they are unlikely to win or perhaps even to ever recover from.
Looking to the Future
With a kill of an active Keepstar yet to be had, there is a “server first” still to be claimed. One that the elite raiding alliances of Eve will be hard pressed to skip past. Especially given that Co2 are soon to have little or no help. Test will not commit as they are probably having flashbacks to their previous dealings with the PamFam. If Test hinders operations then their newly found home in Vale could easily become the next target of interest. There have already been noises made from PL members that Test are not making any friends here.
Rumour has it that PL has been absent of late not only due to the Alliance Tournament. They have been practicing for another event. Keepstars are a formidable structure and should not be treated lightly. Thankfully CCP offers the SISI test server where new tactics can be practiced with no real losses, unlike the live server.
In probably a last ditch attempt to buy some time Co2 have even taken to re-timing their Keepstar so that it will not be vulnerable until this coming Monday. Only then will we see if the first of the Keepstar timers will be set by the PamFam.
It is increasingly unlikely that Co2 will be holding Tribute for much longer and that PH will be looking to claim the space for themselves. So what then for Co2? Will they stage from lowsec? This would seem unlikely given that they resisted staging to lowsec before and were somewhat outraged at the thought historically. Perhaps Co2 will consider moving elsewhere and starting afresh? Yet again Co2 have long declared Tribute to be their rightful home, so moving too far from it may not be an option. Additionally given the wonderful diplomatic work by Co2 in the past it is unlikely that any group would suffer Co2 moving anywhere too close with them. Well any group aside from Test that is.
The last option may be the best one for Co2 although at a further risk to Test. It would be unlikely for the PamFam to extend their efforts into Vale unless suitable provocation occurred. So if Co2 were to move into the far east of Vale and keep their heads down then they could see some respite. Once PH had secured Tibute and for the larger members of the PamFam to have moved to farm the next entity then Co2 would be well placed to retake Tribute.
There is no doubt that Co2 are at a crossroads and the choices Gigx makes in the near future are inevitably going to have a serious impact to his alliance.